Breed Evolution and Varieties
By Bjorn Maxwell Netland
Breeders’ and sometimes judges’ preferences set trends in the poultry hobby. Breeders and hobbyists likes and dislikes sometimes vary by region and time. The standard deviations sometimes become accepted over time and generate the push for standard revisions.
Leghorns can be used a just one example. Some may like the tail to have 7 x 2 main tail feathers or maybe more than 7. Is a bird with 8 x 2 or 10 x 2 preferred? Is it okay for males to have sickles dragging on the ground? These are some of the variants in the standards that may come up with breeders, judges, and hobbyists.
Others may yet see a 9 lb. cock being superior to one that is within the acceptable standard weight. You are unlikely to see one disqualified for overweight although it almost certainly should be.
Avoiding having the same judges show after show, or judges from their same area, may help. Many or most of the European shows employ breed certified judges. These people specialize in one or a couple of breeds only. These judges usually meet regularly for judging seminars or workshops to develop streamlined and uniform evaluations. Normally they apply the point system as opposed to our comparison system.
Thus in Europe they seem to prevent the extent of dichotomy that we see here. The points style of judging also becomes a time consuming, laborious task requiring numerous judges which would not work very well in our setup here. However it is approached I think that inconsistencies we are dealing with here could and should be addressed.