Image from page 171 of "The American poulterer's companion. A practical treatise on the breeding, rearing, and general management of various species of domestic poultry .." (1878)
Title: The American poulterer's companion. A practical treatise on the breeding, rearing, and general management of various species of domestic poultry ..
Publisher: New York, Harper & brothers
Contributing Library: The Library of Congress
Digitizing Sponsor: The Library of Congress
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152 THE AMERICAN POULTERER'S COMPANION.
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THE SEI3KIGIIT BANTALI FOWL. Sir John Sebright, from whom they derive their name, and to whom we are indebted for this variety, as " being the very prettiest of all do- mestic fowls," and when hereditary breeding has not been too closely persisted in, they are not without utility likewise. The English know more, I will venture to say, of the science of breeding, than all the other nations on the globe, and this knowledge is ex- ercised on their domestic animals, from the no- ble race down to a tom-cat, Guinea-pig, or lop- eared rabbit; and from the proud and graceful swan to the no less proud and scarcely less graceful bantam. Much mystery has been attached to the proc- ess by which these birds were brought to their present state of perfection. Whether originally bred from selected specimens of the spangled birds—in most of which, as in the Spangled Po- lands, certain feathers, those on the wing-cov- erts more especially, are usually found of a laced character—or whether we should be content to place them as one among the numerous distinct branches into which this family have been di- vided, remains a matter of discussion, and one too, which at this date is not likely to be satis- factorily determined. " The last object," says a writer in the Poultry Chronicle, " Sir John arrived at, was to improve the Bantam to a clear erect carriage. To effect this, he, about forty-five years ago, obtained a buff colored Bantam hen at Norwich ; she was very small indeed, with clear slate-colored legs; on the same journey he purchased a cockerel, rather inclining to red in color, destitute of sickle-feathers, with a hen-like cackle, and also (at Walford) a small hen resembling a Golden Hamburg. After this, by drafting for five or six years, he gained the very penciled feather he so anxiously sought after, by in-and-in breed- ing, for about twenty years. He afterward had a white cockerel from the Zoological Gardens by which he made his silvers." One of the most remarkable characteristics of the Sebright cock is the total absence of both hackle and saddle feathers; he is also perfectly "hen tailed," that is, devoid of sickle-feathers; the principal feathers being straight and form- ing a square tail, like that of the hen, perfectly upright and not inclining to either side, for this would constitute a very serious objection, though by no means an uncommon occurrence, even in the produce of the best-selected birds. The tail-coverts are somewhat more developed than in other fowls, and great stress is justly laid on these being perfectly laced, since, in the few places are the colors more apt to run. The comb must be double, terminating in a well-
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