Author Topic: History of What Breeds Went Into the Creation of the Different Varieties  (Read 329 times)

Steve Neumann

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 43
Once upon a time, there was a very interesting thread on the ABC forum where several founders and long time breeders reminisced about what breeds and birds went into the creation of the different varieties and who was responsible.  I read that thread several times, but never saved that information because I never thought it would be deleted.  With the split of the club, that thread is apparently gone.  I know that some of you all might get tired of rehashing everything and telling the same old stories, but I really feel there should be some place online where people can come to that information for a reference, so that it doesn't disappear and turn into mythology or get muddied with inaccuracies, (something that seems to happen a lot to this breed.) I have already emailed John for that information and he suggested that I start this thread.  Much thanks in advance. 

John W Blehm

  • Administrator
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1352
    • Fowl Stuff
There is a topic on the Origin of Bantam Silvers that has a lot of information on the background of that variety.

On our site's FAQ page we list the varieties and those that originally created them.
Quote
Who created Ameraucana Chickens?
The original 8 recognized varieties of bantam Ameraucana chickens were developed by three breeders: Mike Gilbert of Wisconsin; Jerry Segler of Illinois & John W Blehm of Michigan. 
Some varieties were created about the same time by different breeders working independently.  In those cases the names of both breeders are listed.
Black – Jerry Segler
Blue – Jerry Segler, Mike Gilbert
Blue Wheaten – Mike Gilbert 
Brown Red – Jerry Segler, Mike Gilbert
Buff – Mike Gilbert & John Blehm (co-creators, working together)
Silver – Jerry Segler
Wheaten – Mike Gilbert (The first Ameraucana Chickens)
White – Jerry Segler
 
The original 8 recognized varieties of large fowl (LF) Ameraucana chickens were developed by three breeders: Mike Gilbert of Wisconsin; Wayne Meredith of Wisconsin & John W Blehm of Michigan. 
Some varieties were created about the same time by different breeders working independently.  In those cases the names of both breeders are listed.
Black – John Blehm, Wayne Meredith
Blue – John Blehm
Blue Wheaten – Wayne Meredith
Brown Red – Mike Gilbert, John Blehm
Buff – John Blehm
Silver – John Blehm, Mike Gilbert
Wheaten – Wayne Meredith
White – Wayne Meredith, John Blehm
 
Lavender is one of the most popular varieties of Ameraucana chickens, yet they are still not a recognized variety by the APA or ABA.  The APA, ABA and others mistakenly refer to lavender as “self blue”.  Bantam lavender Ameraucanas were created by John W Blehm & Michael Muenks working together as co-creators.  Large fowl lavender Ameraucanas were created by John Blehm.  The first crosses to bring in the lavender color genes were made in 2005 with both bantam and large fowl black Ameraucanas.

John W Blehm

  • Administrator
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1352
    • Fowl Stuff
An old quote of mine is "every chicken is related to every other chicken in the world".

On October 20, 2005 Mike said...
Quote
...But I can tell you it was a lot of hit or miss in the beginning stages.
Basically, easter egg chickens were crossed with other breeds to get the recognized colors.   Of course it took many, many generations of breeding.   Some are still being worked on, such as the large fowl brown red.

Mike G.

On January 20, 2015 I said about large fowl...
Quote
...The black, white and blue varieties were the easiest to breed up to Standard type/size and black was the easiest color to breed to the Standard.  Even with other breeds, with multiple varieties, blacks generally win.
Using Australorps, instead of Orpingtons, to create the blacks put them out front of the other LF varieties and then outcrossing blacks with whites, blues, brown reds and silvers improved them.  The original Australorps were hatchery chicks, but later I obtained a quality Australorp male, from Jim Fegan, to cross in... 

Mike Gilbert

  • Lifetime Member
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 982
    • Red Stag Acres

Some of that information was included in the History article in our current Handbook with regard to bantams.    Mostly it was trial and error.   I know I would have done some things differently had I known then what I know now.  We didn't have the internet in those days to exchange information.   It was by mostly hand-written and sometimes typed letters.
Mike Gilbert
1st John 5:11,12

Steve Neumann

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 43
Re: History of What Breeds Went Into the Creation of the Different Varieties
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2017, 04:26:59 PM »
Thanks for the info.  Curious to know, Mike, what would you have done differently? 

Mike Gilbert

  • Lifetime Member
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 982
    • Red Stag Acres
Re: History of What Breeds Went Into the Creation of the Different Varieties
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2017, 05:58:13 PM »
Well, I made brown red bantams about four different times in four different ways.   The first time was pure serendipity when I crossed a White Am bantam over a bantam Silver Leghorn pullet, trying for silvers.   I got two or three well marked brown red females from that cross believe it or not.   The second time was with using a brown red Modern Game hen mated with a black Am male.   It was very hard to come back to the correct type, even though the color turned out pretty good after a few generations.   Then I tried crossing in an O.E. Game brown red female.  And I forget what the fourth one was offhand.    Anyway, today I would not have used blacks, as they tend to carry genetics that keep the female hackles too black.   I didn't care at first, as my main object was to eliminate shafting in the breast lacing.  But the hackle fault got carried into the line and persisted.  To this day I don't know for sure what would have worked better, but I think I would try a nicely marked O. E. male over white or silver Am females.  Probably silver now that the autosomal red has been all but eliminated from silver males.   And that is just one example.
Another thing I would have done differently would have been to work on fewer varieties at a time, and keeping a much larger gene pool of those I was working on.   I used to believe in breeding only the very best to the very best, but you can quickly breed yourself into a corner doing that, with no escape. 
Mike Gilbert
1st John 5:11,12