Breed Advice 1925

Feathered World Year Book 1925

The Marsh Daisy contribution to the Year Book 1925 was written by Mrs J Larkins Vice-President of the Marsh Daisy Club whose residence was in Alfred Street, Bow, London E8.

‘I am pleased to comply with the Editor’s request to write on Marsh Daisies for the 1925 Year Book.

The Breed has progressed fairly well this year, especially the Wheatens, as would be seen at our club show in Olympia. The Cock Class showed a wonderful improvement in quality, types being especially improved. Just a few show too much buff in neck hackle, however, and the combs in some exhibits were much too big; they should be kept more compact and be more evenly spiked and finish with one leader. The green leg is well established as is the white lobe. The evenness of colour of plumage of breast too is much improved from last year. Mr Stott’s cock was a beauty for type and colour and was in the pink of condition; he was greatly improved in every way since the Crystal Palace Show where I awarded him second to Mrs Chaimber’s hen in a mixed class. He won the Moore’s (The breeds) Cup and Poultry Club Silver Medal and all the specials for cocks.

Wheaten hens and pullets show a splendid improvement in every way.

I will just refer to one or two matters that new members should avoid. These are mealy or ticked backs, the levelness of the red wheat colour on the back and white wheat on the breast, otherwise one is apt to breed a mixed variety of Wheaten and Brown.

The winning hen our Secretary put down at Club Show was an example in colour, type and tightness of feather. She won the new Cup for the best opposite sex to the Moore’s Cup winner, kindly given by the Right Hon. Viscount Canterbury, who breeds Wheatens on a very large scale. His birds have been very successful during 1924, as on two or three occasions he swept the deck, taking first, second and third. He has now succeeded in producing the new variety – Brown Marsh Daisies. This variety makes the fourth – Buffs, Wheatens, Whites and Browns.

The Black variety was also submitted at Olympia for the members’ sanction and recognition, and, although this variety is now fell on the way, the third generation are only three months old and were not produced at the meeting, and by rule Mr Stott’s application was deferred for twelve months; otherwise this variety looks the Marsh Daisy type and a promising colour for all who care to have a dark bird.

Our Buff variety has not been exhibited as much as we would like. Though we have been successful in producing the Club ideal, the Golden Buff, they have made less progress than the Wheatens. I fear this has been due to wrong mating in the earlier years which gave the birds a ticked back. Blue or pearly grey undercolour must be avoided when breeding the Buff variety. A deep golden Buff cock mated to light Buff hens or pullets produces a nice golden Buff. This variety has been taken up by our President, the Hon. Alice C. Hawke, who is greatly interested in the Buff as well as the Wheatens; she keeps the latter in large numbers.

The Marsh Daisies have put up a nice record at the Bentley Test, Mr Stott’s pullet coming fourth in Section 9, with a score of 223 eggs. This present test (1925) however, has five entries of five birds each, which shows a greater interest in the utility side of the breed. Mr Hemelryk has kindly offered a Silver Cup to the winner of this section. He is one of our biggest breeders and is exporting nine pens to Ceylon at an early date; he is also a sex-link advocate and has successfully proved sex link markings. Marsh Daisy- Light Sussex prove to be excellent table birds and the pullets are putting up some splendid laying records.

At the Wembley exhibition we showed a trio of Buffs and Wheatens. I exhibited from May 28th to June 3rd. My trio of Buffs were greatly admired. They are a lovely golden buff and I hope I may be excused when I say I am very proud of them. Their progeny are also a lovely buff. I have a splendid brood hatched out in September. I find they are easy to rear even at this late date. The Buffs will make headway next year I feel sure. Mr Stott exhibited a splendid pen of Wheatens in the week following the exhibition of my Buffs, which were greatly admired.

I wish I could write in as much praise of our Buffs and Whites as our Wheatens but I feel confident of their progress in the coming season as they are such excellent layers. I am sorry to say both classes were cancelled at Olympia but we had a nice class of the two varieties combined (A.O.C.) at Birmingham.

All varieties are splendid layers, especially winter layers. They lay well intotheir fourth year and are practically non broody. I had not one broody, either Buffs or Wheatens. Our Hon. Secretary will be pleased to hear from anyone wishing to join the Marsh Daisy Club. His address is Mr G W Stott, Bowling Green Mills, Darwen, Lancs’.


The laying trials which are frequently referred to in these articles were set up at various centres around the country, some at County level. The birds were sent away to these centres in pens of various numbers but usually four or six and for varying lengths of time; anything up to a year in fact. The National Laying trials were at Bentley in Suffolk.

At the centres, the birds (usually pullets) would be trap nested and egg numbers, weights and quality were recorded. Therefore every bird would be individually recorded, plus an average of the four or six birds in the pens. It could also be seen how many eggs were laid in the winter months.

At the end of the trials, comparisons could be made between individual flocks and also between breeds. Various awards were made depending on the performance of the birds. It would be particularly important for a new breed such as the Marsh Daisy to prove their worth in regard to utility.

Trap nesting: this was very labour intensive (labour much cheaper then of course) as when the birds entered the nest box to lay, a door shut behind them. They could not leave the box until released by an attendant who would then record the egg, the weight and the quality. All the birds would be individually identified, usually by a numbered ring.

At the laying centres the risk of infection and cross infection was high and at one point the Bentley ground became so ‘poultry-sick’ that the National test was moved elsewhere.

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