The APA has made some changes in their steps to get a new variety accepted into the standard. The biggest one is you have to have 5 breeders, that have raised the BLRW for 5 years and have been a member of the APA for 5 years. To my knowledge I am the only breeder of BLRW that would meet those requirements at this time, so I will have to wait until we have 4 more breeders that can also meet those requirements.
I cant help but feel great about the quality of my BLRW compared to what I started out with 11 years ago. I would send pictures of my BLRW to friends and they would email me back asking me no to send them pics of mixed barnyard fowl.. After making crazy crosses on whites, partridge and even a rose combed rhode island red...well it all worked out in the end and I have a BLRW that doesn't look like any other line of BLRW in the country.
The deep mahogany red is very impressive on our new generation of BLRWs, I have not seen red this deep on any other line of BLRW out there. Both type and color has really improved this year, unlike buying a new truck you cant really trade your old model in....there are a lot of people and hatcheries out there offering my birds for sale, basically second generation Foley's Waterfowl BLRW...but only I have the breeders here that keep improving every year...Honestly, I don't think anyone else is crazy enough to spend the money involved in growing out so many birds, actually 2 generations each year just to improve their birds.
The BLRW's are bigger, have a deeper mahogany color to them with improved lacing and I have seen a drastic improvement in type. I recently read a comment from a BLRW breeder that it wasn't possible to breed for good wyandotte type and color, I disagree...the color has been pretty easy to achieve...the type has been the hard part.
Notice how the red is much deeper in the hackles than normal. It is my belief that to achieve good mahogany red on the body, you must keep an eye on the hackle color...if the hackles are brassy or golden color on the males I cull them from my breeding program even if they still have good deep red on the body. Then you also have to keep an eye out for good lacing on the hackles...that has been difficult and still a work in progress. I think breeding the Partridge has been helpful for me when it comes to raising birds with the mahogany red color.
I gathered BLRW from many different sources and parts unknown. I used the ones that had the best type and color, and have been raising as many chicks (were talking 200+ chicks) as I can each year and culling my breeders down to the best 6-8 hens and two roosters. The problem with BLRW in America is...they look like Rocks, not Wyandottes, horrible combs, and small size....oh and not to mention that many do not have that beautiful mahogany red that make the BLRW just stand out from other poultry. A lot of them have that washed out buff color instead of the deep red...
We constantly strive to improve our BLRW every year to the point that I bred two generations of my BLRW within the same year....this makes a lot of work and a ton of chicks to grow out and cull from. Wyandottes fully mature at 18 months....so it is very expensive for me to feed all those chicks to the point I can cull for the best.
White Wyandotte and Blue Laced Red Wyandotte pullets
Sometimes I wonder why we bother to put so much time and money into the BLRWs, but when sitting in the backyard with the kids I glance across my pasture at the BLRWs...well they are stunning birds.