As you look through the photos, please remember that each photo is intended to illustrate only ONE element. In other words, many things might be right or wrong with the bird in the photo illustration (since no birds are perfect), but we will only discuss one feature per photo.
We will add to this page as time allows. Let us know what you think!
WHAT HAPPENS TO BIRDS THAT DO NOT MEET THE SOP? The answer is "It all depends". As we have said, there are no "perfect" birds. Every bird has some trait that can be improved upon. However, some problems are more serious than others (as noted below), and birds with serious faults (those likely to be passed down to progeny) are generally removed from breeding programs.
THANK YOU TO PHOTO CONTRIBUTORS! We would like to thank all the photo contributors, especially those that shared photos of less than perfect birds. We all have them, but it takes a confident breeder to show them off!
|Photo 1: Beaks (by Marie Taylor)|
|Photo 2: Beaks (by Shumaker Farm)|
|Photo 3: Beaks (by Shumaker Farm)|
The beak of a Buckeye should be thick and strong, resembling that of an Aseel Indian (Cornish) Game (which was used in the development of the breed).
|Photo 4: Beaks (by Marie Taylor)|
|Photo 5: Beaks (by Shumaker Farm)|
COMBS AND WATTLES
|Photo1: Comb and Wattle (by Jeff Lay)|
|Photo 2: Comb and Wattle (by Shumaker Farm)|
You can see all three rows of the comb in both examples and they are held close to the head, as required. Compare this to the cock and hen in Photos 3 and 4.
|Photo 3: Comb and Wattle (by Marie Taylor)|
|Photo 4: Comb and Wattle (by Shumaker Farm)|
|Photo 5: Comb and Wattle (by Marie Taylor)|
|Photo1: Eye Color|
|Photo 2: Eye Color|
|Photo 3: Eye Color|
Photos 1 through 4 show a fair representation of the reddish-bay eye color that is acceptable per the 2010 SOP. The SOP has wavered slighting in eye color since the buckeye was introduced in 1905, ranging from a bright red (which is getting harder to find in the Buckeye) to the present description of a reddish-bay. Eye color that is anywhere in this range is acceptable.
It is important to maintain the standard eye color and stray away from light orange and yellow (Photos 5 and 6), and green eye colors (which do arise).
|Photo 5: Eye Color|
|Photo 6: Eye Color|
|Photo1: Head Width (by Shumaker Farm)|
|Photo 2: Head Width (by Shumaker Farm)|
|Photo 3: Head Width (by Shumaker Farm)|
There should also be a moderate brow ridge above the eye which the eye sits under (like a bird of prey) as illustrated in Photos 1 through 3.
|Photo 4: Head Width (by Shumaker Farm)|
|Photo 5: Head Width (by Marie Taylor)|
EXTERIOR BODY COLOR
However, there has been much debate over how dark the feather color should be. The 2010 SOP suggests the general surface color be an even shade of “rich mahogany bay” in all sections, with the exception that the unexposed primaries and secondaries, and the main tail feathers may contain black. This definition is fairly broad, but many breeders feel the description of “mahogany bay” is not accurate as it brings to mind a color that is much lighter than the Buckeye nut.
In an article published by The American Buckeye Club in 1916, Nettie Metcalf stated, “As for color—well, my own are so dark a red that at a little distance in the shadow they look fairly black, but when the sun strikes them and brings out that rich, garnish luster…”. A respectable example of this color transformation is illustrated in Photos 1 and 2, and suggests that the color envisioned by Nettie was a dark, deep mahogany, not a "mahogany bay". Thus, Judges seem to waver in opinion between a mahogany bay and a deep mahogany body color.
|Photo1: Body Color (by Sumaker Farm)|
|Photo 2: Body Color (by Shumaker Farm)|
|Photo 3: Body Color (by Marie Taylor)|
|Photo 4: Body Color (by Shumaker Farm)|
|Photo 5: Body Color (by Shumaker Farm)|
|Photo 6: Body Color |
(by Marie Taylor)
|Photo 7: Body Color (by Shumaker Farm)|
|Photo 1: Undercolor (by Shumaker Farms)|
|Photo 2: Undercolor (by Shumaker Farm)|
When looking at a Buckeye one cannot help but notice the beautiful dark mahogany sheen of their plumage.
This dark sheen is mainly attributed to the "bar of slate" (undercolor) that is beneath the exterior plumage. It shows as a charcoal grey color (as shown in Photos 1 through 3).
This special undercolor (often referred to as “smutt” by poultry judges) is mentioned in both the 1905 and 2010 SOP, and was specifically called out by Nettie Metcalf in her early journal discussions about plumage color. The darker the undercolor, the darker the bird.
|Photo 3: Undercolor (by Shumaker Farms)|
|Photo 4: Undercolor (by Shumaker Farms)|
Many of today's Buckeyes don't have this undercolor. Instead, the feathers are a light red all the way to the base of the feather (as shown in Photo 4). This is leading to Buckeyes becoming lighter in surface color, and should be avoided.
STATION AND BODY SHAPE
|Photo 1: Station (by Marie Taylor)|
|Photo 2: Station (by Shumaker Farm)|
|Photo 3: Station (by Shumaker Farm)|
|Photo 4: Station (by Shumaker Farm)|
|Photo 5: Station (by Shumaker Farm)|
|Photo 6: Station (by Marie Taylor)|
Photo 6 is a great example of a split wing. This defect is a genetic trait that is a disqualification (per the Standard). Birds that possess this trait should be removed from all breeding programs.
|Photo1: Tail (by Shumaker Farm)|
|Photo 2: Tail (by Shumaker Farm)|
|Photo 3: Tail (by Shumaker Farm)|
|Photo 4: Tail (by Shumaker Farm)|