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How I Breed My White Plymonth Rocks

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2012 White Plymouth Rock

Mating List

HISTORY:

The history of the Blosl’s White Plymouth Rocks goes back to the spring of 1993. I received a phone call from my old friend Jim Volk of Centralia, Washington on a Saturday afternoon and Jim said Robert you need to get into the White Rock business. You need a real chicken instead of those scrawny Reds. So I said, What do you have? Jim Said, I am going to send you 14 White Rock Large Fowl chicks that Tom Durgun hatched for me. They are about 10 days old and I do not need them. Do you want them? I said sure. Send them to me.

I told Jim, that I wanted to see how the chicks would do at this age for shipping. On Monday, Jim shipped the chicks in a small 12"X12" baby chick box and I received them at the Mobile Alabama Airport on Tuesday. I drove to the airport and all the chicks where doing great but one large chick. He was chilled and dying. He did not make it but he was a monster of a chick. From this group of 13 chicks I raised all of them. I kept two big boned ckls and named one Jim and one Tim. Tim had yellow legs and Jim was more of a whitish colored-legged bird. I also, had about 7 other chicks which where pure Sherman blood from California. These chicks did not appeal to me because they where smaller in bone structure. With Tim and Jim the two cockerels, I also had about five pure Jim Volk Pullets. Two of the pullets had fantastic type and bone structure. So I raised all the Jim Volk white rock chicks with the Large Reds for that year in open free range setting. One night, a fox came to my farm and got one of the White Rock Cockerels. I went out about an hour after dark and saw only one cockerel in the range shelter coop and them I say the missing cockerel about 25 feet away dead. I could not tell till day light, which male had been killed, but it was poor old Jim, the male with the light colored legs.

So with the only good White Rock Cockerel this started my Tim line of White Plymouth Rocks Large Fowl. I mated Tim to four of the best Jim Volk females that I had raised that summer. These white rock pullets where from Jim’s pen 2 and pen 3 lines, and Tim was from the pen 1 mating.

The following year, I hatched about 35 chicks and raised a killer male that I called Tim #2. I showed this outstanding cockerel at the Mobile Fair and won Champion Large Fowl and Grand champion of the show. The following breeding season, I mated the best Ckl. Back to his mother and the best pullets back to Tim #1. This was the I K Feltch method of line breeding. It in a nutshell, this was how I started my two family lines.

I had problems of course and that was due to the climate change. The Rocks had lived in the West Coast for many years and where not use to heat and humidity of South Alabama. The sun was causing light black lacking to appear on the back feathers of my young birds. When you washed the young birds, it looked as if they had rubbed their backs underneath a pick up truck and there was still grease on their back and saddle feathers after you washed them.

I had an order from a fellow in Virginia who saw the White Rocks on one of my Free R I Red breeder’s videotapes. He showed these Rocks with the black streaks in their feathers and all at a show in Virginia, One night I received a phone call from Frank Harris of Beaver dam, Virginia wanting to know where I got these White Rocks as he like my birds and wanted to order Two Trios. I told Frank, they came from Jim Volk of Centralia, Washington and I had no birds to spare.

Frank called Jim that next day and ordered two trios and he as well was in the White Rock business. Frank did very well with these White Rocks showing then and I think today, Frank still has Rocks, but I do not know if they are pure Volk lines or not.

Another person went crazy over the White Rocks a few years ago and his name was Zelotes Eschmeyer of St. Mary's Ohio. Zelotes, called up one day and said he had heard about my Rocks and wanted to buy the best cockerel that I had that would win in the hot shows in Ohio. I sold him my third best male of the year and Zelotes showed him and won big with the male. The following year Zelotes wanted an another male that would beat Shelby Harrington's super white Rocks. I did not have a great year that year as I had a bad hurricane come through and dumped 30 inches of rain on us and I just could not get the eggs to hatch and I was messed up with all the damage to my pens etc. None the less, off went my third best male of the year and Zelotes won first place and two seconds in hot classes of white rocks at the leading shows in Ohio.

So if you ever saw Zelotes Eschmyer win big with a White Rock Ckl or Cock bird in that area, it might have been my strain of white rocks. Zelotes, always told people he got the birds from Sherman or Brown in California.

Zelotes, never got my best birds that I hatched each year, as my mentors always taught me, never sell your best birds because they are your seed. By this I mean your seed to your gene pool. So let that be a lesson to you if you some day become a good breeder of Reds or Rocks. Breed first, and you can always sell your good breeders to those who need a start.

HISTORY OF THE JIM VOLK LINE:

Jim Volk has had a lot of White Rocks that were used to start his outstanding line, but the birds that I got that Tuesday morning in 1993 where mostly the old original Oliver Bowen line. Oliver, also, bought many birds from other White Rock Breeders, but the LOOK that I saw in the young chick’s that Jim shipped to me where that of the old Halbach line. When I was a boy growing up in Centralia, Washington, an old White Rock breeder by the name of Carl Hove from Seattle use to come to the Southwest Washington Fair in August to show his birds. Carl would bring a big string of White Rocks and that is where I got my first look of what a Real White Rock should look like.

Carl’s, strain was the old Bill Halbach bloodlines, Harold Halbach father. So when I LOOK at a white rock growing up on free range, It’s the old HALBACH  LOOK that I am after. The old Halbach bloodlines are still best type that I ever saw on a white rock and it is still today the foundation of our great White Rock strains in America.

Interesting Story from Arkansas:

About four or five years ago, I sold a 4-H member in Arkansas a trio of my White Rocks. He showed them at the Arkansas State Fair where Harold Halbach was judging. He wanted to buy the first place pullet from the boy, but the youngster would not part with pullet. Harold Halbach told the boy up North, the pullet would be worth $l00. That was a excellent investment for this young junior fancier, as I only charge him $25. For the young trio of white rocks.

Mrs. Halbach was also there with Harold and asked the father, where did you get these White Rocks? The father told Mrs. Halbach, the birds came from Robert Blosl of Alabama. She never heard of me. Then the father told Mrs. Halbach; Robert got his start from Jim Volk out in Washington State. Mrs. Halbach, said they sure looked like our Rocks, Jim Volk got his start from Oliver Bowen, and Oliver got his start from us many years ago.

When the father told me the above story, I could see why Harold liked the pullet. She was a nock out, a perfect five-point comb and a nice lift to her top line. I regret selling the boy the bird after all these years, because if I would have use her as a breeder that year, my head points on my birds would be so much better. They did nothing with the female but show her and I am sure never got a chick out of her. The only goal was to by champions and win at shows as a junior with bought birds and beat out kids who raised their birds from chicks.

BUNNY TAILS:

 One of the faults of my line, over the years has been size. The heat has been hard on my Rocks and they seem to have lost some of their size over the last five years. However, when I weigh my birds, they are within the limits of the standard. What has happened, is my feather quality is getting better and the birds are just more typey and less fluffy. Bunny tails, is a term that Jim and I have talked about and that is where the female’s tail droops down instead of maintaining the lift that the standard demands. Through selection of five years and only keeping two males and four or six females as breeders, I think this fault is being breed out. At least I have two males and two pullets this year and one super hen that have the desired Plymouth Rock Type with out the bunny tail defeat .It appears this year I have finely reach some uniformity in my rocks as I have my best birds with correct elevated top lines. This has taken me six years to get the overall type to resemble what other strains around the country  with the correct top line.

PEN ONE MATING for the year 2002-03:

This year, I will have a super cockerel that was my first hatched chick as the lead breeder to this pen mating. He has long length of body which I am trying also trying to breed into this family line. His keel is extended giving him that nice full breast or the gravy bowl look on type. I have him mated to two fantastic pullets that have great top lines but are a little shorter than I would like in body length. These two sisters are half mine and half Danny Feathers. Danny sent me a pullet about two years ago that he hatched from a old time breeder in Oklahoma who got white rocks direct from Oliver Bowen about 15 years ago. He still maintained the pure blood lines and I was very fortunate to get some of this old Bowen Blood lines to cross in to my line. However, when I look at the standard the females seem to be within the normal limits of length of body. Jim felt my birds where to small and short to suite him, so I am working on that trait. Also, we are putting in our best hen from last year that I think will have the ideal type as illustrated by Schilling picture in the APA Standard of Perfection. I will have a picture of her when she reaches full bloom in December and you can judge her for your self.

PEN TWO MATING for the year 2002-3:

 A male that has held his tail up all year long with no sign of bunny tail weakness heads this mating. He has a handsome Plymouth Rock head, which I want to stamp in to all my future mating for years to come. He is set plumb on his legs and has great vigor for a male of his size. His beak and leg color has been yellow since a young chick. All the traits that you want in a good White Plymouth Rock male bird. His weakness is in his comb, however it is a good comb but I need to work on the blade in years to come.

To compensate his fault, I have mated him to my two best long bodied females for the year. There length is about one inch longer than the pen one pullets and it is my goal that the chicks from this mating will click next year with the other mating from pen one.

Pen Three:

I have a young male that has caught my eye since he was two months old. He just has this look about him of grace and is the most vigorous male I have every raised on my poultry farm. He has the length  of body, the extended keel bone matched up with a full breast, a top line that I have been dreaming about for five years and a alert eye to go with his handsome head. His comb is not ideal, but it is my desire that all my males in the future have this majestic look and grace about them. He will be mated to two pullets and two hens that are two and three years old. I will separate the hens from the pullets and try to hatch the eggs in separate hatchers so I can toe punch the chicks from the hens as well as the pullets. My goal next year is to mate the best two pullets back to this cockerel and try a inbreeding method with him and his daughters for at least three years. Then come back and cross some of the best birds in 2006 from pen one my Danny Feathers pen with the old males offspring. The chicks from the pullets next year will be raised and the best pullets will go back into pen three for another dose of my ten year Rotational line breeding method as explained in articles written section.

Long Range Goals:

It is my long range goal, that in two years, we will have the finest strain of White Rocks in the South and South West. I believe by looking at my old video tapes from a few years back we are almost there now. It is possible our strain would give others a run for their money. I will be able to tell better in November when I photograph the best birds and place on the this web site for you to look at. I could care less if I have the best strain in the country, as there has not been a great strain of White Rock Large Fowl in the South that I know of in many years. Large fowl is on a come back in this country and I hope I can at least share my birds with others that live in the South and Southwest so they can win with them at the shows that they would like to attend.

This year, it was my judgment that my White Rocks Large Fowl are better than my Rhode Island Red Large Fowl and that was one of the reasons I dropped breeding Large Reds as I do not have the time or energy to take care of more than one breed of large fowl and I wanted to devote more of my energy on perfecting our new line of Red Bantams..

VIDEO TAPE:

                                                                           

                                                                    Pen 1 2000

I hope that I can show you some good pictures on this site of my birds and I will have videotape that I will share with you on my WHITE ROCK LARGE FOWL. Just e-mail me your address and I will send you a copy for $5.00 To pay the postage and the cost for the tape.

CHICKS:

 I will sell about 50 White Plymouth Rock Large Fowl chicks in 2000, They will be sold at age 4  to 6 weeks and shipped a one stall shipping box. The cost will be $8 each.  plus handling, postage and box.

They chicks will go fast as I have already requests for twenty chicks for next spring,. so first come first serve gets the surplus chicks that I wish to share with you. There are no eggs as this is a lost cause today in our shipping and these chicks are to valuable as seed stock to take a chance.

 

                                                    

                                                                 Pen 2 1999

SHOW BIRDS:

l will, sell fully conditioned cockerels in the fall. I have built special conditioning coops to protect them from the sun and hope you can have snow white birds when I ship them. The prices will be affordable and I will come up with the price latter in the year. They will be half the price for top show birds that you get up north say inOhio or Virginia.

LOOKING FOR GREAT RESULTS:

                                                                             

                                                               Halbach pair 1920's

The year 2002-03 is going to be an exciting year for us and our White Plymouth Rocks. Started points, master breeder awards do not mean any thing to us however, in ten to 20 years, you will be the judge of our work with this strain.

I am a breeder first. I love to show my birds, but there are just not that many shows for me to go to in this area. If you invest in one of our birds and can win big with them as Zelottes Esmyer has done a few years thenwe will be just  as pleased if we showed the bird ourselves.

CONCLUSION:

This concludes the story, the history, and the goals of Blosl’s White Plymouth Rocks. I hope you enjoyed my message and the pictures on this page.

Support the Plymouth Rock Club as it is a fine old club and is run by outstanding rock people I have their web site listed on my favorite links page and you can get to it from here. Hit the address below and you will go right to the site. Thank you. email me if you wish to be a member katz@gultel.com

                                                                        

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Go to our picturtrail.com web site to see pictures of our Rocks.