Selecting BB Red breeders - OEGB Int'l Society

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Selecting BB Red breeders

We will attempt to discuss both male and female line breeders both in type and color. Since a male line breeding male and a female line breeding female is pretty much the birds that conform to the standard in both type and color not much time needs to be spent on this. Will have photo of them to illustrate the differences of a female from a male and female line and vice versa.

Type (Maleline Female)
First of all No matter which line you are breeding both male and female must pretty much match the standard for type. In the male line breeding female some things can be compromised. Example: Size can be slightly larger then a show female. In the the end she must have Old English type. Some of the things I value are width of breast, smooth topline from head to tails with no abrupt breaks, sound wing carriage and thin straight small to medium size combs with preferrably 5 points. Keeping in mine none are perfect, selection of breeding females will be dictated by the male in the breeding pen. Select females that excell in areas the male is week. Never mate two birds together that have common faults. I referr to this method as compensation mating. In other words you are compensating for the weekness in the male by using a female that is stong in his week points.

Feather quality (Male line female)
This is something that some will tend to overlook. The male line breeding female should hasve a semispread tail that is carried at a 45 degree angle above the horizontal plain of the ground. This is measured at the top feather. The bottom feather should still be above the horizontal. The tail should not be so spread the the bottom feather is below the horizontal. Tail coverts should come up high on the tail. This will help prevent that abrupt break and excessive flush that is sometimes seen at base of tail on males.

Color (Maleline Female)
There is a bit of difference between the maleline and female line breeding femasle when it comes to color. Both are stippled in brown but a show female has much finer stippling on back, body and shoulders. A a glance she will appear lighter and more predomuiantly brown. A maleline female has a much more coarse stippling and will appear darker with much more black showing in feather. Will post photos in a later post of side by side comparison so you guys see what I am talking about. Fronts shoulderrs and bars may show brickish red tints. Stippling on tail may go back further then top 2 tail feathers. Of coarse there is shafting. This can never be totally eliminated in either male or female line But can be minimized and controled. In the femasle line males must have black tails with shafts black all the way down to the skin to accomplish this. In the male line female more shafting can be tolerated and actually have a purpose to be there. On the male line female the hackle can be darker or lighter then desired but really important to be one even shade throughout the hackle with the head a darker red.

Don't want to throw too much at you at one time so guess it is time to end this post. I will end it with a few photos for your viewing. It will show some of the stuff I have discussed so far. The profiles are of a 4 month old pullet that is far from finish but is showing potential. I used her in these photos because breeder selection should start before they are of breeder age. In this way you can cull the lesser ones and make room for the good ones. The photos of sections by color are of actual breeders.



  • cockofthewalkcockofthewalk Mead, Oklahoma
    I am really looking forward to the comments on this post. I don't know enough to comment on it, but I am sure we can all learn something here. Thanks for this thread Kjundog.
  • edited April 2012
    Sorry, a couple those photos got duplicated. I lost track of where I was. A sure sign of old age. I just realized I left out thephotof the tail and tail coverts. Will add that in tommorrow when I get home.
  • adminadmin Durant, OK
    edited April 2012
    Excellent post, Kjundog. I'm marking this discussion to be added as a bulletin topic. The photos are a nice touch.

    Keep up the great work!
  • Great job kdog and right on concerning the points to look for.
  • I think the B.B.Red females,when properly bred,are sure a beauty to behold, and there have certainly been quite a few truly great breeders who have brought them along way, Dave Sherrill, Ralph Sherriff, Bobby Holsomback, Jerry Tanner, David Varnadore, Wayne Inman, Mr. Bryson, and I am sure there are some I am forgetting at the moment, but we need to be thankful for their dedication, and efforts in this hobby cause if it were not for these and others where would we be? Keep up the good work and furtherance of the breed guys!
  • Some of the differences are so subtle that I will be keeping male line photos on one SD card and female line photos on another because I can surely get mixed up when I start posting. The female line photos will have to wait until I can get to Aaron's house when we are both off as at this time we are housing them at his place to not mix them with my male line. I can assure you this discussion is far from over as there is alot to cover and illustrate.
  • When you mentioned stippling on the females [female line] I could not help but remember how Dave Sherrill would emphasize that his family of B.B.'s had what he called a "mossy" look or pattern to them, which was a tad darker and a tad coarser than some guys liked but as we all know was very successful for him! When I say tad I mean very subtle change or difference! You would have to put them beside other families to see the difference! Oh who am I kidding this thread will never end!!LOL!
  • edited April 2012
    Side by side photos are exactly what I plan for this. The exhibition BB Red female is the most beautiful of all Old English. When the stippling is really fine you can stand back about 6 feet and the brown on black almost looks like an olive green. When they are like that you know you got a female with good top color.
  • This type of talk will cause me to put on a pot of coffee, and adjust my seat and stay up all night on an Old English Cloud 9 buzz!! kjundog that olive green tint you speak of is truly awesome and I must agree with your statement,"the most beautiful of all Old English" though I don't mean to sound prejudice about color preferences, but they are a treat to see! Don't forget that rich salmon colored breast!! Hmmm!
  • Hey, I'm hear till 3 AM. Can't believe they are paying me $35 dollars an hour to be hear just in case and I got all this time to spend on computer. LOL The key word in the breast is rich. Free of mossyness and frosting. I know alittle about this variety.
  • Sorry I had to tap out early last night, they don't pay me to sit in front of my computer, but it sounds like fun, LOL, yes rich is the correct term, and let's not forget free from lacing, vermiculation, you know that mooney effect they call it! Yes this female line description is rich in itself! O.K. gotta go to work, later!
  • adminadmin Durant, OK
    Wayne, I have uploaded an example bulletin of your article. Your discussion will continue on here like normal. I will update your bulletin when you add more to it.
  • cockofthewalkcockofthewalk Mead, Oklahoma
    This is great, I hope we see more contributors of articles. These can be printed out and distributed at poultry shows. They will also be archived forever and be a ready source of information. You authors get busy and start writing your articles !!!
  • Here are photos of the tail of male line females. Notice the shafting that is allowed and the stippling going beyond the top 2 feathers. These photos also illustrate feather width and coverts that come up high on tail.
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  • The next thing I would like to discuss is an area I think that not enough attention is being paid by the majority of the hobbyist. It is the comb, face,wattles and earlobes. While people who raise good femaleline birds ususally put emphasis on this, the average person raising male line birds take it less serious. I am not sure if the reason is that they think the females do not show and males are dubbed so it does not matter, but believe me when I say it matters. Small wattles, a smooth face and lobes and a small to medium thin straight comb is just as important on male line females. She passes her genetics for comb to her sons and a poor comb does not dub as well. It can forceyou to cut lower then you like or even so bad you can tell after dubbing that it was twisted. There are several reasons a comb will lop or twist. Nutrition, lack of sunlight, poor health all can cause it but most often it is inherited by not paying enough attention to the male line breeding female. Combs will tend to swell and perhaps have a slight sway to them when a hen goes into production. Her earlobes will also bleach out a little but if properly bred, when she is done laying the comb will return to normal. Here are a few photos of a hen in production. Perfect? Heck no. Still not to bad for an old gal producing eggs. We will picture some real good combs on younger birds and what to look for as they grow in a later post.

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  • Yes, 5 distinct points and neatly serrated, I believe the standard calls for, good width of skull, and good bold eyes , nice pics kjundog! Good example, not perfect as you said but a truly good example, most families are far from what you have there because of poor selection, cull, cull, and then cull again, then we might get where we are going. I never seen a bird with faults at Ralph Sheriff Sr. house and it was because he culled so hard, then culled again, and etc. until he felt satisfied, and even then he was searching for improvement! Wow here we go again, this thread will hinder me from doing anything around here!LOL!
  • Very informative pictures kdog. You are dead right about the male line females. People just don't pay as much attention to them as they should. I believe that the male line female is the most important part of the male line breeding pen...even more important than the male.
  • Indeed Barry, that's a fine point, but it seems there are always multiple concerns that are overlooked in the brood pens, mainly because people are focusing on other points and those subtle mistakes creep by us, must admit we have all been guilty. We should try to get an overall picture in our mind and quit tweeking certain areas, again it's easy to let it happen!
  • Sometimes it is a matter of overlooking some of the finer points. Other times it is just not having enough birds to choose from to select for those points so we use what we have. Don't expect to find it all on one bird. Line breeding one family of birds is the best tool we have. Sure you will see faults. All bloodlines have them. Surprisingly enough to see the problems is the very reason we line breed. You are building a gene pool. One that you can work with for many years. You want to see the good and the bad in that gene pool. Gotta know what you have to improve it. LIke I said earlier, compensation matings. Selecting the right birds to compliment each other. Mating two birds together with common faults will make the fault dominant and will appear more frequent. Breeding away from the fault by compensation mating and selecting those offsprings that do not show the fault will make the good traits more dominant but the fault will always exist in the line and pop out now and then. It is in the genes and can never be totally erased. If it could the perfect bird would have been produced a long time ago and we all would have them. Sometimes it is necessary to weigh the faults and see which ones you cannot tolerate and concentrate on a few then move on. BUt the main idea is constantly striving for improvements because you can never be satisfied where you are and stop. Kinda like walking up the down side of an escalator. You cannot say this is where I want to be and stop because it will carry you back down. Gotta make forward progress quicker then it is moving down just to stay where you are. Not anything to do with male or female lines but this is just some good breeding principals for you guys to consider since this is a discussion..
  • edited April 2012
    Very good point kdog. I've been breeding Barnes, Sheriff and Lail line BB Reds and I've found faults with all three of them. There is no perfect strain out there so you just have to line breed and work with what you have. Its good if you can raise a large number of a strain so you can cull hard and keep only the best. Line breeding is the best way to improve a strain. Found this out crossing Barnes and Proctor three years ago. It took me three years to get the cross worked out. Often you have good birds the first cross and then everything falls to pieces in later matings.
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