Breed Advice 1924

Feathered World Year Book 1924

Written by Mr G M Stott, Hon. Sec. Marsh Daisy Club

I am pleased to write in the Year Book in so much that I am favoured with the opportunity of recording a decided improvement in some of the members’ ideals that the breed should possess. That we have a long way to go yet goes without saying because we have set our minds on producing a fowl of great beauty, gracefulness and usefulness.

One of the main features is the pale willow green leg and may I say at once how delighted we all are that our efforts have won such a great measure of success. The shade of green, a delicate one, with perhaps the faintest shade of yellow coming through, is very important and harmonises so nicely with the Wheaten, the Buff, or the White plumage of our three varieties. One only has to view a bird with a darker green shank to at once realise the importance of the pale willow green shade.

The plumage of the bird too, shows great improvement and especially this is so in Wheaten hens. The delicate white Wheaten shade of the under-body parts and the red Wheaten shade on the back, with just the necessary dappling effect of a blending of the two shades are decidedly improved.

Wheaten cocks too are coming to be more regular in the golden brown, or really nice bay top colour of the breast and though there is a tendency to bronze instead of black in tail sickles, still I think we have reason to be proud of the progress made.

Buff cocks are greatly improved and the correct shade of Golden Buff is fast coming to our ideals but the Buff hens are not so satisfactory. They (except in a few instances) lack the rich colour of Golden Buff and are either too mealy a shade or too red and not level enough. There is need of great care in future matings but I have confidence that our ideals will be attained in a few seasons.

The Whites, both sexes, will come into their own this next season, I am told, the great difficulty having been to get the purest white surface.

We shall still have in mind the foregoing in our matings for next season of course but can we turn our attention to the improvement of head points ? Combs and lobes, especially the latter show some improvement but they are far from perfect and we have got to remember that head points attract fully nine tenths of fanciers. Both combs and wattles are in many cases much too rough and coarse and there is need for determined effort by everyone to improve them.

I am pleased tp find that the advice I gave as to mating in the 1923 Year Book has been followed and has produced good results. I would urge all Buff MD breeders to ban all birds with any blue under-colour.

Turning to the utility side of the breed, I would advise that the greatest diligence should be employed in culling the duds. Naturally, when seeking some point of beauty the mating is done with that special point in view, to the detriment sometimes of the utility qualifications but this view must not be carried too far. The pretty dud of a layer must be sacrificed. The Marsh Daisy was bred to lay, to withstand hard uncongenial conditions and when killed, to provide the table with a good bird. I urge everyone interested to bear this in mind and to encourage the utility side of the breed with the utmost vigour.

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