Observations - Comments
March 2002

By: David Garcia
I am writing this article to discuss a few issues that other members might have concerns or questions in certain areas of raising and showing Wests.

LATE ENTRIES - This is always a situation at all shows. Included in this category will be substitutions. A major problem for substitutions and late entries is where they are physically placed and that they be properly retrieved for judging. There are a number of techniques that I have found to be helpful: Allow for 5-10% of cages to be empty. These can be located either at the beginning or ending of the show cages. Along with this is a secretary coop card number located on the MASTER SECRETARY LISTING of all entries that correspond to each hole. Colors and categories are identified on the Master Entry Listing so a space between all classes on the judging list must be provided for any entry changes. Each coop card has a number. Now the last thing for recording and accuracy is the assignment of a coop number. Let's take the example of a late entry such as a young blue bar hen. We already can take one look at the judging list to locate young baldhead blue bar hens located between coops 31 to 35. You can assign a letter to the late entry which by itself is self evident that this is a late entry such as 35A, 35B, 35C. The show secretary then directs the chief steward to retrieve late entries for each and every class. This prevents passover and it beats trailing down eight aisles for a given entry.

ALMONDS - The February Bulletin brought up some interesting points concerning the judging of the patterned color almond. There are actually several items to look at when judging this class but that could become quite a lengthy discussion. For the sake of making a simplistic observation based on experience I will say: Yes, as Terry has pointed out with the old axiom "Build the House before you paint it" is generally the best concept.
I would go further in discussion to mention to West breeders that the overall type is extremely important and this can only be done by crossing only the very best to a color like almond. This color is the challenge of challenges and when you get a good one it's quite an accomplishment. Chuck Zeller makes an important point about the difficulty of breeding to standard and the inherit variety of the "Unstable Gene" for Almond. I can see from a judging prospective how much variety still exists in this color but that's half the fun. My point is this, in the judging arena - judge the bird that day as it exists. However, in the patterned class such as almond poor ground color with tons of break and type should not be winning large classes unless all of the almonds have poor ground color with less break. That is not to say that almond without type should be winning either. Gentlemen, it's the overall balance that the judge sees that day. It is up to the Almond West Breeder to produce this color in quality and in numbers.

STANDARD - Judging Areas should have the NWOETC WEST STANDARD in the Written text next to the Approved Drawing,
SHOW - No comments that insult or humiliate the judge should be tolerated. Problems with the placement of birds must be accomplished through the proper channels which usually requires up to a $50.00 protest fee at some shows. Problems with the retrieval or accuracy of placement should be handled by the designated Head Show Steward. Let it be fun for those locally and for those out-of-staters that make a great effort to be there.

 David Garcia
Observations - Comments
March 2002

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