Oh gosh, I'm not ready for it to be this late in the year! Yikes, there is much to do.
It was a busy weekend. Saturday morning I sorted through all the young birds again. Wow, not too impressive. There are 11 pullets in the show string, and I don't know yet how many cockerels, but not many. Still waiting on sickle feathers, and possibly a lost cause. What is it with that??? If these guys don't feather out properly then I have almost nothing to sell. *sigh* I think it's time to outcross the Black Rosecombs. Hatch rates have been inching down over the years, and the number of good birds seems to be decreasing. Counting the out-of-condition birds I am keeping as breeding stock (not for show) there are only maybe 6 keepers out what I hatched this season. That's pretty bad. It's been ten years since the last outcross, maybe it's time.
I am down to only 75 birds right now but I want to cut that back even more. I still am too lenient with putting up with faults in some of the varieties but let's face it they will never progress if I don't cull out the problems. It's tough though, like in the BBRed females I feel like I have to use anything that has a good head and decent type and halfway decent color. But, that means for years I bred from females with heavily stippled main tails and loads of shafting. Is it any wonder now that most of the males end up with red in the main tail?? If they are supposed to improve from year to year, why I am still using birds that are more than a few years old in the breeding pens? Time to go through them and see what I would have left if it thinned it down to only what really fits the Standard. I know, it means I can't possibly hatch enough to make everyone happy. But I haven't been able to do that for a long time anyway since shipping became such a pain in the butt.
There was a show this weekend that I did not attend, but it was 400 miles south and I had zero interest in doing another big trip right now. There are four shows I hope to attend in January and February. We'll see.
I need to decide pretty soon if I am going to take my art booth to the PPBA show in early January. Pros: potentially make a little money, been doing it for years and people expect it, ego boosting, commissions?, guaranteed place to sit down during the day (that's scarce at a show). Cons: a LOT of work, reduces my enjoyment of the show because it's such a busy weekend that way, takes a lot of prep time (PLUS getting birds ready), a LOT of work. Hmmm.
Today was the meeting for the group that I've sort of mentioned a bit, the one with the "issues." It didn't exactly satisfy. It was decided that there needs to be a separate meeting just to discuss these issues and get it ALL out in the open in a neutral environment. In a way it would have been nice to just hash it out right then and there, but at the same time it really wasn't the time or the place to get into it. I didn't say a word other than to present my committee report, but seeing as how I'm the only one on my committee, that particular aspect runs quite smoothly and has no problems. ;-) So, we'll see. Time will determine the course of action.