Author Topic: Blue Wheaten Male Standard  (Read 493 times)

Suki

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Blue Wheaten Male Standard
« on: March 12, 2018, 07:44:58 PM »
Hi Folks


Sarah Meaders posted this on the AA Open Group which is not open at all, but closed to members.  I figure that people here should know about her letter to the Standard Committee.


Hello, just now I posted the following on the Official Members APA page. Please visit and comment your thoughts.
I will be submitting a proposal to revise the Standard Description for the Blue Wheaten Male Ameraucana. This proposal will have two aspects to it. The first deals with the dark blue “lacing” on the breast. The definition of “lacing” calls for a distinct border of contrasting color around the entire web, uniform in width, and usually moderately narrow. It has been taught to me by several breeders and APA judges that the edging in the Blue Wheaten male breast is not distinct lacing, but edging at best. It is also known among genetics experts that there are three genes necessary for the true lacing; Co, Pg, and Ml.



The consensus seems to be that the Blue Wheaten is lacking one of these three genes, which explains the lack of true, distinct lacing. Mike Gilbert, who developed the first Blue Wheaten Ameraucanas in Bantam, also acknowledges that the variety has never had the distinct lacing, and the wording calling it such was an error. Seeing how the Wheaten pattern is much more complicated than the Black/Blue/Splash, it is not as simple to bring in true lacing as it was for the Blue Ameraucana, as some breeders have done utilizing the Blue Andalusian.
It is believed that doing so would alter the female phenotype adversely.

I, and many other breeders of this variety, believe that the RIGHT thing to do would be to correct the error in the Standard rather than attempt to change the genetics on an entire variety. Therefore, the first aspect of this proposed revision will be to change the wording “laced with dark blue” to “edged with dark blue”.



The second aspect deals with the ever-present shafting when there is edging and lacing. It is believed among many experts that the shafting is a natural phenotype that accompanies any edging or lacing. In fact, the shafting is actually required in Blue Andalusian in the Australian Standard.



Since this is a natural occurrence, and since shafting is considered a fault unless it is specifically called for in the Standard, the second aspect of this proposal includes “with some dark blue shafting”, but PLEASE NOTE, the shafting is only added to the clause that states “Preferably edged with dark blue”, which specifically only connects the shafting to the edging.

Since the BW male allows no lacing/edging, and only lists the darker blue edging as “Preferable”, the shafting should remain with the edging only, and not on BW males that lack the dark blue edging

I can of course point to this page to let her know your comments.


Sarah Meaders

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Re: Blue Wheaten Male Standard
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2018, 07:55:13 PM »
As some of you may already know, I am the one who has been working with Mike Gilbert and so many APA judges, Blue Wheaten Breeders, and Walt Leonard to put together a proposed revision to the Blue Wheaten Description for the male. When I first approached Mike about this, I didn't expect the fight that this has now become. I cannot express how thankful I am to have reached out to Mike, Russ and so many other breeders the past year! I have learned so much the past few months....not just about chickens, but about so many things....

It is now public that the ABC Board voted against this revision by a majority vote. It was not unanimous. There is now a post on the ABC FB page that states that their reasons for voting against is because, and I quote, "There is a common misconception that the word "lacing" as used in describing the blue wheaten males is the same as the word "lacing" used in other color descriptions - specifically the blue Ameraucana - however, the "lacing" used here is described correctly as a darker blue; while lacing, as used in the description of the Andalusian (from which the Blue Ameraucana gets its color description), is always black, sometimes a flat black and sometimes a glossy black, but always black. "

My SOP from 2010 has only one definition of lacing. That definition states "should be very distinct, uniform in width, and usually moderately narrow." I have asked the Chairman of the Standard Revisions Committee if perhaps there has been an added definition to the latest SOP. He confirmed there is still the one definition.

I am seeking this revision because I trust the many many breeders of the BW variety, including the original developer, Mike Gilbert, that this edging in the BW male has never been the distinct "lacing", and does not possess the required genes to produce such lacing. I do not see it to be fair at all to leave the Description as is, now that it is known that achieving the true lacing is not genetically possible. I feel it is an injustice to the beautiful variety to attempt to change the genetics rather than correct a word.

I have been advised by the Chairman that the Facebook page for the APA membership will hold the key to whether this revision is accepted or not. I ask any and all breeders to please comment on the post I just now put on the Official APA Member page. Whether you agree with this revision or not, I hope you make your voice and opinion heard. I guarantee you there will very shortly be a very strong voice in opposition to this on the post.

And on a final note, I must extend my extreme gratitude for how I have been welcomed into the Alliance! I look forward to building strong friendships and learning so very much from everyone here! Thank you!!

Sarah

Sarah Meaders

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Re: Blue Wheaten Male Standard
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2018, 07:56:34 PM »
Thank you Suki! I also posted on the forum about this. :)

Tailfeathers

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Re: Blue Wheaten Male Standard
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2018, 09:06:29 AM »
I've already made all the comments I'm gonna make on the subject of changing the SOP and what the SOP says about edging and lacing but I do wanna make a note about this:

"I have been advised by the Chairman that the Facebook page for the APA membership will hold the key to whether this revision is accepted or not."

To get an idea of what "the key" looks like, I suggest folks take a look back thru the posts last year on the thread about changing the SOP for Barnevelders.  That should give you a REAL good idea of what that means.  And one thing that may need to be pointed out is that when the thread is started on the Facebook APA Group there will most likely be a a bunch of comments from folks who've never even seen, let alone bred, a Blue Wheaten.

Which prompts my curiosity.  Sarah, when you say "I trust the many many breeders of the BW variety", how many breeders are we talking about in the "many many"?  How long have they been breeding the BW?

Btw, Mike, I'm guessing you would know this if anyone does... How long did Wayne have the W & BW?  If I recall correctly Wayne is the one who developed the WBS from your bantams?  Do you know anything about his breeding program?  How long did he have them?  Did he maintain a closed flock?
God Bless,

R. E. Van Blaricome
Seek Ye first the Kingdom of God, and all His Righteousness
- then these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)

Suki

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Re: Blue Wheaten Male Standard
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2018, 11:06:23 AM »
Hi Folks

This comes on the throes of the Official APA Facebook page, which has not as many APA members as it should, wanting to restrict  varieties because of lack of participation, so I see this as going nowhere on that page.  I think that's their answer for having to proofread so many pages -- if we get rid of them, that's less to do.   

As to the Blue Wheaten, like many I just have the 2010 standard and it states  for the male only "breast blue _preferably_ laced with dark blue."  I have two solutions to this issue, "preferably" isn't required so don't do it.  The second, if you are double breeding don't breed the males just breed for females and voila you're there.  In both cases you have a choice, I don't see a mandate in either SOP.

Mike Gilbert

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Re: Blue Wheaten Male Standard
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2018, 11:09:12 AM »
Wayne simply took my bantams, crossed them with birds from his easter egger flock, and within a few years had large fowl wheatens and blue wheatens.   He was able to maintain a closed flock because he raised huge numbers of birds.  For example, one year he raised 500 blue large fowl Ameraucanas.   He raised maybe 2,000 birds per year for awhile. His market was primarily the Asian population (for meat) in the greater Milwaukee area, which is across the state from me, at least a four hour drive.  Because of the distance, we did not see each other that often.  Wayne only showed a couple of times, when our Ameraucana national meet was in Wisconsin.  The last time I saw Wayne was a few years ago, when he was talking about getting out of birds so he could spend winters in Florida.  He still had wheatens and blue wheatens then; they were apparently his favorite variety, as he was talking about finding someone in his area to take care of a few of them so he could raise some more the following spring. 

Royce, may I suggest you go to the official APA Facebook forum and review the information that has been posted there?  I think it will give you a better idea of the pros and cons of making the change. 
Mike Gilbert
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Tailfeathers

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Re: Blue Wheaten Male Standard
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2018, 07:23:25 PM »
Suki, interesting that you should bring up "double-mating".  I won't go into the whole thing here but that was exactly one of the claims I made regarding the Barnevelder SOP change.  Some where claiming that it was impossible to get good lacing on the females with a laced-breasted male as the SOP called for.  I proved by pictures that wasn't true and I pointed out to those on the Official APA Group page last year (when I was a member) that, even IF that WERE true, all that would be required by those who believed it would be to Double-Mate.  The response back was "That's too hard.  It takes too much time, effort, and space to Double-Mate.

To which my response was, "It's called the Standard of PERFECTION.  It's not supposed to be EASY!"

I worked for 8yrs to get a decent looking laced-breasted male.  I was VERY close to having him where he should be and the APA decided to change the SOP due to only God knows what because I've never gotten a reason.  I asked Walt why the change occurred and was only told after looking at everyone's input there was good reason to make the change.  I asked Walt what that "reason" was.  I'm still waiting to hear.

I wrote an 8-page paper detailing every single issue the proposed change brought up and when they had the District Directors meeting in OH to discuss the proposed change my DD did NOT even take it with him.  And in talking with him I really don't think he even read it.  When John Monaco, the current President of the APA who is running for reelection, judged our show in November I asked him about it and he said he had never even seen it!!

There were outright lies submitted about the history of the Barnevelder and even what the SOP calls for and I not only addressed each one of them but I provided the supporting evidence to prove that was the case.  All that said, in the end, despite a detailed, point-by-point enumeration of why there was absolutely NO valid or rational reason for changing the SOP it was input like "I'm a Barnevelder breeder.  It is my favorite breed and I just love them.  I support the change to the SOP" and other input from folks who have never even owned a Barnevelder that won out the day.  That "breeder" had Barnevelders for a whole whopping 18-24mos or so at the time.

So take that FWIW but IMO, as I've previously stated on this forum, I see no reason to be changing the SOP for the BW.  Suki is right with her comments and anyone who has a SOP , or has read one, knows there is a LOT of room for subjectivity and variance for the judges and the breeders.  If anything needs to be changed, as I pointed out in my previous comments, it is the SOP wording on what lacing and edging is.  THAT is where the error lies.

As for the shafting, just two quick comments.  First, we need to be CERTAIN that we are all on the same page as to what "shafting" is.  I say that because many years ago when I mention on the ABC forum that I was breeding for clean tails and getting rid of all the red-brown in the W & BW tails, Jean Ribbeck, who was President of the ABC at the time, told me that the SOP required it to be there.  When I look at the SOP that's NOT what I read "shafting" as.

Secondly, I wasn't even aware that there was an on-going discussion about the subject.  So I don't know what's been said about it.  I know what "shafting" is from what the SOP says and I've not seen it in my birds.  I also know that I've NEVER had a judge say one word about it when I asked them to give me a hard critique of my birds after the show is done.  I also know that it is VERY likely that it will be a LONG time before ANY W or BW Ameraucana wins Best AOSB.  SO, this all seems to be a whole lot of something about nothing.

And on that note I'll end with this.  And I hope folks understand I am NOT trying to boast or brag when I say this.  I remember Mike posting a couple years ago that Wayne was getting outta birds because he wanted to do some traveling in his retirement years.  If that is true and he no longer has any WBS and therefore is not breeding them then from all I've been able to determine I now have the longest running closed flock of WBS in the country.  I don't know who the "many many BW breeders" are but that's what I've been able to determine.  If that's not true and there is another or others I'd definitely love to talk with them and pick their brain and get to meet them.

I realize this is getting awfully long but I just thought of something else that I need to insert here because I think it's an important thing to bring to the surface.  In mind, as twisted and weak as it may be, this goes to the heart of what I consider a "breeder".  There is all this talk about edging vs lacing and shafting.  And yet when I brought out that I was getting yellow-legged birds and therefore had recessive yellow-leg genes in my flock some of the feedback I got was "Don't worry about it.  Just cull them and show the rest.  The judges don't care about whether the bird is hetero or homozygous.  They only care about what they can see."

I personally know of one very long time, well-known Ameraucana breeder, who I will not name outta respect for him that has never maintained a closed flock.  So, on a purely factual basis when you are bringing in "new blood" regularly there is NO way you can know what you really have.  I mean, let's be real, based on that one could actually show an Easter Egger that could actually do well and would never produce F1 offspring that bred true.  I've had a couple of Black and also Blue EE's that actually looked pretty good.

So, with that lead in, here's my point:  How many of those "many many BW breeders" are actually working to purify their blood and perfect their BWs in ALL the other areas?  How many of those "many many BW breeders" would actually do the work to get rid of something like a yellow-legged gene if they knew it was there OR would they pay it no mind because it's "hidden"?

My SOLE reason for asking that is to bring to the surface why there is all this brouhaha over changing the SOP over the WORDING when there is very-likely a whole lot more pressing issues to actually deal with.  If the lacing/edging is a priority in your breeding plan (and I think it should be) then focus on it and make it happen.  If getting the best lacing/edging is your primary breeding concern the go for it.  Who cares what the SOP says and whether "lacing" or "edging" is the better word to use.  For cryin' out loud the APA can't even get their definition of either right where it applies to ALL breeds!!

So on a purely personal closing note, I made a decision long ago and chose which Ameraucana breed I would "WORK ON".  It didn't take me long to figure out that I'd probably never see a Champion AOSB let alone Champion LF.  And that it would take me a good long while to even get to BB.  But I stuck with it.  I didn't go for the quick and easy Rosette.  Even after having one judge telling me outright that I would have to get a solid color, most likely White or Black, if I ever wanted to end up on Champion Row.

So it's getting a little tiresome and a bit frustrating to work on a project for a decade, 10 flippin' years, only to have some folks new to the Fancy come in and wanna change everything.  I think there are some on the Forum who can sympathize with that.  The APA can do what it wants.  If they wanna run their Club and base their Standards on popular opinion and however many people pipe in with their "Oh, that is such a pretty bird" - then so be it.

God Bless,

R. E. Van Blaricome
Seek Ye first the Kingdom of God, and all His Righteousness
- then these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)

Tailfeathers

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Re: Blue Wheaten Male Standard
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2018, 07:44:26 PM »
Thanks, Mike!  Believe it or not I actually did remember that Wayne developed the WBS LF from your bantams.  Didn't know that it took him a few years to get them from his EE's but that is not surprising.  If there's anything any breeder knows about moving their birds forward is that it's a SLOW process.  Did you two work together on that?  Does he have the knowledge of genetics like you do?  Do you remember what EE's he used?

That is SO great to hear that he maintained a closed flock.  That speaks to SO much.  Wow!  I can't imagine having those numbers!!  He must've had quite the place and that too speaks to his dedication to the breed and variety.  I also have to imagine he didn't have a lot of, if any at all, other breeds and/or varieties?  When you say one year he raised 500 "blue", did you mean "blue" or BW?  Just curious.  Either way that is something. 

I remember several years ago I wanted to try and make a big leap forward with advancing my W & BW males.  The thought being if I hatched out a lot I could maybe get one or two that showed significant improvement instead of hatching out small numbers and making small, incremental changes.  So I hatched out 150 chicks.  I still remember having at least 70-75 roosters on the place.  But it worked.  I can't imagine having 500 birds and 250 roosters!!  Let alone 2000 birds a year for several years!!!!  Especially Ameraucanas.  Can't imagine a market for that.  Definitely not here.  I could maybe see doing that with my Buckeyes, for the meat, but even then I'm not sure the market is here for that.

It sounds like maybe you guys didn't work together on the WBS.  I only talked with Wayne once.  Don't remember now what it was about.  I just knew at the time, from all I knew, that he was "The Guy" to talk with about WBS.  I wish now that I had developed a relationship with him and picked his brain a lot more about his breeding program and what it consisted of.  And I definitely wish I'd know he had a closed flock and wanted someone to take his birds!  Had I known that I would have done what it took to get some and started a separate line with them.  I would have loved to have compared his birds to what I had at the time and have now.

I can't get on the Official APA page.  No longer a member of the APA.  One minor, of many other several major, reasons I left the APA is because I got a PM last October that I had been removed from the Official Group because I wasn't a member of the APA.  When I was.

I do not like the direction the APA is going and it's a shame to see what it's turned and is turning into.  Facebook, IMO, has NOT been good for the APA.  I was actually a bit surprised to see that you're still on there.  I thought Walt banned you from the Group a year or two ago.

One thing I've come to conclude is that Walt and some of the others on that group do NOT like a squeaky wheel.  Voicing one's opinion is fine and dandy on that group.  Just so long as your voice sounds like some of the others on there.




God Bless,

R. E. Van Blaricome
Seek Ye first the Kingdom of God, and all His Righteousness
- then these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)

Suki

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Re: Blue Wheaten Male Standard
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2018, 08:02:58 PM »
[font=]Therefore, the first aspect of this proposed revision will be to change the wording “laced with dark blue” to “edged with dark blue”.
 
[/font]

[font=] The second aspect deals with the ever-present shafting when there is edging and lacing. It is believed among many experts that the shafting is a natural phenotype that accompanies any edging or lacing. In fact, the shafting is actually required in Blue Andalusian in the Australian Standard.[/font]

[font=] Since this is a natural occurrence, and since shafting is considered a fault unless it is specifically called for in the Standard, the second aspect of this proposal includes “with some dark blue shafting”, but PLEASE NOTE, the shafting is only added to the clause that states “Preferably edged with dark blue”, which specifically only connects the shafting to the edging. [/font]

[font=]Since the BW male allows no lacing/edging, and only lists the darker blue edging as “Preferable”, the shafting should remain with the edging only, and not on BW males that lack the dark blue edging.[/font]

[font=]=========Don Barger submitted his blue non shafted bird.  I had forgotten that Harry Shaffer of the AA also had a gorgeous non shafted blue Orpington which I forgot about, but is what brought me to the variety.  So on the shafting, I would drop my tentative support.  Lacing vs edging?  That's preferable so doesn't matter.[/font]

Mike Gilbert

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Re: Blue Wheaten Male Standard
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2018, 10:10:54 PM »
Sue, I'm not sure what you are looking at, but Barger's bird does have some shafting.  Maybe try blowing it up and look at it again.  And it is edged, not laced. 
Mike Gilbert
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Mike Gilbert

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Re: Blue Wheaten Male Standard
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2018, 10:22:07 PM »
Royce, when Wayne had genetics questions, he asked me.  There were times when I helped him select breeders, but that was not frequent.   He had enough variety in his huge easter egger flock that I'm pretty sure that he would have used females that were similar to wheaten, but I really don't know for sure.  Like I said, we were/are at least four hours apart.  When I mentioned the 500, that was blues, not blue wheatens. 
I'm not sure we are on the same page with the term shafting.   In the context being discussed, it is the dark streak up the center of the feather, in some cases just the quill of the feather, on the males with good edging.  It appears most notably on the breast of the males.   I have raised many blue wheaten bantams, and the males to the best of my recollection pretty much always have more or less of it.   The better the edging, the more shafting as a general rule.  Lacing is best defined by birds like Silver Laced or Golden Laced Wyandottes.  And in the better Andalusians.  That is not what we have in the blue wheaten color variety.  If we added the necessary genetic components for lacing to blue wheaten, we would have some other color, but it would not be the blue wheaten we know and love.   To me this is a no brainer for the Standard Committee, and I said as much on the APA official forum. 
Mike Gilbert
1st John 5:11,12

Tailfeathers

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Re: Blue Wheaten Male Standard
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2018, 06:13:20 AM »
Mike, all good info.  Thanks!  Again, I only talked to Wayne once so I had no idea what his knowledge of genetics was, and with NO disrespect intended whatsoever, it is not surprising to me that he would turn to you with questions on genetics.  All we WBS breeders owe a great deal of appreciation and gratitude to you for all your help in breeding them up to where they are today.

We're on the same page with "shafting".  I've not noticed it in mine but, as I think I previously stated somewhere on here, it's not been something I've been paying close attention to.  I've got some edging on the one I have now.  And try to remember to look for it when I get him ready for the show in a couple of days.

I agree with you on the lacing as far as where it is best defined.  Though I think even with the Andalusians it doesn't meet the SOP's definition because of the "contrasting color" reference.  From what I've read on here it's either black or dark blue which isn't what I'd call "contrasting color".  The SLWs, GLWs, and Barnevelders have what I'd call "contrasting colors". 

Glad you're speaking up on the APA Official forum but my experience on there has shown me that "no brainer" just doesn't carry any weight.  While I'm not the best Communicator, if you were to read my paper that I submitted on the Barnevelders I think you'd see what I mean.
God Bless,

R. E. Van Blaricome
Seek Ye first the Kingdom of God, and all His Righteousness
- then these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)

Mike Gilbert

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Re: Blue Wheaten Male Standard
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2018, 08:10:21 AM »
I tend to agree with you about the Standard Committee Royce.  As everyone knows I was extremely disappointed in their decision on the "self blue" versus lavender issue after I presented what I thought was pretty compelling evidence for the latter.
I had written the Poultry Press piece, and also sent a letter outlining that evidence to each member of the Board of Directors.  I did not receive a single response from even one director.   I guess they felt they were there to rubber stamp what ever the Committee on Standards decided.    That said, I know you are a Christian, and as such we are brothers in the faith of second chances and third chances.  We must forgive and move on.  In the long run scheme of things, these rather arbitrary matters will matter very little.   
Mike Gilbert
1st John 5:11,12

Suki

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Re: Blue Wheaten Male Standard
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2018, 12:13:29 PM »
Thanks Mike for pointing out my error.  I appreciate your attention to detail, as it seems I have no eye.  I checked and I was surprised I have no shot of the blue Orpington hen, and Harry these days, is busy attending to his father, so I'll let that go.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 12:38:16 PM by Suki Paolini »

Tailfeathers

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Re: Blue Wheaten Male Standard
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2018, 04:34:15 PM »
I had forgotten about that, Mike.  I do remember your write-ups now on the Lav.  While I'm not all that interested in the Lavs and thus didn't follow it closely, I do remember some of what you wrote and I thought you made a logical, reasoned, and well-stated argument.  The two main things I can remember are 1) the gene responsible for the Lavender color is named "Lavender" and 2) the name of the variety should be up to those breeders who did the work to create it and develop it and meet all the qualifying requirements.  In my mind the first should have been enough alone.

I also wanna thank you for pointing out that as Christians we are brothers of a faith that offers second and third chances.  And many more.  And I wanna thank you for bringing to light something I need to say.  I hope everyone will please understand that the criticism I have offered is not meant with any malice or from harboring any bitterness, resentment, or unforgiveness.  I don't.  And it's not meant to be a personal jab at the District Director, Walt, the Standards Committee, John Monaco, or anyone else I may have mentioned.  As Mike said, in the Big Picture and scheme of Eternity that won't matter one iota.  Please take my previous comments as being offered only to provide factual information that occurred which you can take into consideration when deciding how or whether to with the proposal, the APA, Standards Committee, and APA Official Group page on FB.

God Bless,

R. E. Van Blaricome
Seek Ye first the Kingdom of God, and all His Righteousness
- then these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)