We have just spent the morning cleaning out the hatchery and broody cages. It is a bit of a mundane chore, but also a great opportunity to have a really close look at just how well the little ones are doing, and we are delighted to say they are going along just fine….
Of particular note, the majority of our Norfolk Black has good black legs which is a desired feature regards the British Standards. But what is really interesting is that there are a few with very dark faces and a reduced proportion on the usual lemon yellow. These little ones are definitely going to be watched as they progress.
It may be that these ‘darker-faced’ poults will help resolve the ‘bronze blushing’ that detracts from the solid black of Norfolk Blacks. Over recent seasons we have looked at Norfolk Black breeding stock around the UK, at numerous shows, and on various websites, and clearly, the ‘bronze blushing’ is still an issue.
I am aware the ‘bronze blushing’ is partly an effect of the sun regards outdoor birds, but I firmly believe it is also an inherent trait introduced by bronze birds when the table qualities of Norfolk Blacks were trying to be improved. So, still lots of work to do if the ‘solid black’ is to return and the ‘bronze blushing’ banished…
As you know show standards are not the main goal and for us and it is the ‘utility qualities’ that take priority here. So we are delighted that these little ones tick all the boxes in both camps. Importantly, although these were from collected and artificially incubated eggs their parents have been left to rear a brood naturally each year, so the expectation is that they will carry this ‘parenting trait’ as well.
So a definite win-win all round with these, and there are still more to come..