and Breeding Single Comb Anconas
FRANK C. STIER
(famous Ancona breeder of the 1920s)
It is an old
maxim that great actors are born, not made. The same thing holds
good to a great extent with the poultry fancier though I have
seen some wonderful breeders developed where the proper interest
existed and the necessary effort was put forth to accomplish the
We breeders of Anconas have had a very difficult road to travel
during the past years and still have a lot of rough spots ahead.
Anconas displayed in the past were surely poor specimens when
compared with our latest creations. They were all shapes and sizes,
and also poor in color. By that I mean their mottling was simply
a mess of heavy splashes, light in wings, with beefy combs. But
they certainly were sensational layers, giving students of breeding
a real foundation to work on in developing their exhibition qualities,
and they are rapidly being brought to a high state of perfection.
Having been connected with Ancona breeding for many years, I am
in a position to speak with some degree of authority on the subject
of Ancona progress; particularly so since I have been active in
club affairs, having served on several Standard Revision Committees.
To produce winners for our leading poultry shows, requires several
First, work-I place this first for the reason that results cannot
be obtained otherwise. It has been possible in the past, and probably
will be in the future, to produce individual specimens for these
shows without a great deal of effort, but in order to be a real
success in a big way it is absolutely necessary for a breeder
to make up his mind to put forth good hard, patient work, year
after year. The amount of labor required to hatch, raise, condition,
ship and put in the show a complete string of birds, is beyond
the conception of any person who has not gone through it. All
credit is due the one who honestly and conscientiously puts it
across, regardless of what particular exhibition it might be.
No matter who produced them, a string of birds cannot be brought
home winners against keen competition without very hard effort.
To raise them from chick to maturity, then place them in the show
as winners, spells just one word-"work".
Second, vision-I place this second for the reason that no matter
how hard you work, or what your material to work with might be,
you cannot succeed unless you are able to visualize what you are
aiming at and must produce to win at our leading shows. Every
time a breeder mates up a pair of birds he pictures in his mind's
eye just what the results are going to be or rather, just what
he expects them to be. The successful breeder is never satisfied,
his vision is always ahead of what he produces.
Third, material-I place this third for the reason that there must
be some foundation from which to work. How to get the proper material,
is up to the individual. This is not a sales argument so I will
only touch on it lightly, but will say, it is not always the price
you pay, but rather whether you are getting real blood lines from
a breeder who has