The American Standard of Perfection

You read that right. The American Standard of Perfection. This tome is about poultry. Chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and perfection. Who would have thought? Well, the American Poultry Association did and since 1953 they’ve been publishing The American Standard of Perfection. The book describes the various breeds in great detail. Everything from the comb and wattle to the occasional fifth toe.

I bring up this book because I recently found my copy at my mom’s. Yes, I own a copy. It’s from 1985 and I used it when I raised chickens. I had a large coop in my backyard. I primarily raised chickens for chicken shows (yes, chicken shows), but I also sold eggs for a bit, and raised a few meat birds for the annual junior livestock auction at the county fair. I was in 4-H and my parents thought that chickens would be easier than rabbits.

We’re getting ready to jump on the urban chicken bandwagon. Sacramento has a don’t ask, don’t tell policy but is considering allowing 3 chickens per house. We’ve been discussing chickens for some time but have been hesitant because our dog likes to eat things that are smaller than she is. We’ve decided to take the plunge anyway. We’ve picked out a coop . We’ve identified the part of the yard ideal for the coop. Now we just need to find time to build the coop. A staycation–without the kids–may be in our future. The chicks, however, may have to wait until September. I don’t want to leave the birds alone during our summer travels.

So…the Standard. I brought it home to review the different types of birds that are out there and to find out which are the best layers (a trip to Ione Tack and Feed also provided me with this information). The kids are really enjoying the book. My son especially likes to have me come and look at “this funny chicken.” (Bearded Polish or Frizzles anyone?) Margie is also enjoying flipping through the pages but is a bit disappointed that the chickens aren’t organized by egg color.


2 thoughts on “The American Standard of Perfection

  1. Obviously you know way more about chickens than I do. There’s a hilarious blog that I read about a mom of triplets plus one out in Las Vegas – Anyway she recently decided to get chickens (some for meat and some for eggs). If you go back a few months you can follow her chicken adventures. She also mentions several chicken growers message boards on line which were quite helpful for her. I think it’s awesome that you’re getting chickens and I’m sad we won’t be around to see your coup.

    • Thanks, Stephanie! I’ll have to check the blog out. We haven’t explored online resources too much yet and have much to learn!

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