Breed Advice 1931

Feathered World Year Book 1931

From an article by Francis J. Hemelryk

My impressions of the position of the breed and whether it has progressed in public favour is rather hard to answer, as the breed is but little shown, most owners of these birds prefer keeping them for their utility qualities. Consequently as a fancier’s bird, to be perfectly frank one must put its qualities down as negligible.

The birds shown at the Club Show last year were excellent in quality and for the first time in the history of the breed, a Buff Cockerel won the senior honours in securing the “Moore” cup He was a fine bird in every way, although a bit on the large side. The “Canterbury” Cup was secured by a Wheaten Pullet bred by our President, the Hon. Alice Hawke, a bird thoroughly typical of the breed in every way.

The Buffs are certainly improving, as in a large A.O.V. Class at an important County Show a Buff pullet won the second prize. I saw the bird and certainly it represented my ideal of a really good one.

The Blacks and Whites are still on the small side but show considerable improvement on what were shown three or four years ago. The Browns, like the Buffs and Wheatens have the body size and are most attractive birds.

These notes are written before the Palace Show but judging from what I have seen up and down the country, I think I am right in saying that progress has been made.

The green leg on the Blacks last year was much better bu the Whites are still difficult to fix. Frankly it will take some years yet to achieve permanent success and one must have patience.

As with all “Game” breeds the Marsh Daisy shows a certain tendency to sports, although this in time will tend to disappear. Again here we must be patient.

Now, as to the progress of the breed. Here is a much brighter story to tell.

The Club sent birds to the World’s Poultry Congress and they were very much admired. In this respect the Marsh Daisy Club is unique as we all felt that it was not the individual breeder wanted to advertise but the birds themselves. We did this in Canada and the public spirit of our breeders in this matter has been much commented on.

The demand among utility breeders far exceeds the available supplies. For example, one big utility farm ordered eggs in thousands from one of our breeders and these eggs were for shipment overseas. Another farm after trying out the breed for twelve months ordered 1,000 eggs last year with the threat of repeating the operation in 1931. That certainly does not look as if the breed were going back.

Unfortunately, the utility breeder, or rather the egg farmer, is as a rule somewhat inarticulate and one seldom hears of these individuals’ experiences. The fact they come back year after year is the only evidence that the Marsh Daisies are delivering the goods.

The Marsh Daisies will never win an egg laying test, at least I don’t think they will and for this reason, that they are not early starters but they are stickers and once they do start they go on for years until they drop. There is in my trap nesting experience but little in the first and second year’s figures. I find in some cases that they do even better as they get older. I have in mind one bird which laid about 180 eggs in it’s pullet year but 237 in its third laying season.

As a table bird, fatteners might well pay some attention to these birds, as they have a deep keel and can carry a great deal of breast meat if suitably fed.

I cannot close without a word about the sex-linked cross Marsh Daisy (Wheaten or Buff) mated to any silver such as the Light Sussex. One lady in Essex made a profit on the Cockerels of nearly £19 – from 300 eggs of the M.D. x Light Sussex. The males hatch out white and the females buff. I do not recommend using Brown cockerels as they seem to throw an excessive number of sports.