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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The American Buckeye Poultry Club is pleased to announce that we will once again be assisting the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy with a census of Buckeyes in North America. The last time a formal census was done was over 2010-2011, and we assisted them then as well.

Once we get things more formalized, I'll have a better idea as to exactly how we'll be going about it this time. We might do a form, such as the Dom club is doing, or might go with emails/phone calls, as we did before, not sure. But it will be exciting to see how many adult birds there are now, as I am sure the numbers will be much higher than they've ever been before!

So stay tuned, more info as it develops.

Laura Haggarty
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
And to add some detail to the above message, this census will not include any club affiliation, and none is required, not ALBC, ABPC, APA, or other.

Its purpose is simply to determine the number of adult Buckeyes in North America. We will also be noting lines/strains, as delineated by the ALBC. I am waiting on a reply from them as to which will be recognized by them. Once I have that information I will post it here.
 

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Laura,

Is the ALBC coordinating with the American Buckeye Club as well? We have a few menders who are not post of the ABPC. Also, what are they doing about folks that are not affiliated with any club?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Laura,

Is the ALBC coordinating with the American Buckeye Club as well?
Hi Rick,

Not as far as I know, no.

Also, what are they doing about folks that are not affiliated with any club?
As I said in the second message above, "this census will not include any club affiliation, and none is required, not ALBC, ABPC, APA, or other."

No affiliation of any type with any club is required in order for one's birds to be counted in the census. We want to count ALL the birds, from the largest flocks, to the smallest subsets.

At this stage, as far as we have defined it (and it is still open to changes, nothing is written in stone yet, so don't be surprised if there are minor tweaks made to the final census questions) but as of now all we want to know is:

1) How many adult Buckeyes do you have?
2) From whom did you get them?
3) What do you consider their bloodlines to be?

Unfortunately with this breed, the concept of "bloodlines" is a contentious one, we're aware of that. There are some breeders who claim to have a "line/strain" while others who would argue they don't. We're not going to get political about this, all we really want to know is, how many adult Buckeyes are there in North America at this time. Everything else is secondary.
 

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Pardon my misunderstanding, Laura, but your original post sounded like it was an ABPC activity. I was wondering what efforts you or the ALBC were taking to make sure flocks outside the ABPC were included this time around. I would think if their efforts were focused on getting an accurate count, they would reach out to as many venues as possible, unlike last time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Last time, we did reach out to as many venues as possible, actually. And we intend to do so again.

Said it before, will say it again, despite efforts being made by you and others to inject politics into this, there are none intended nor implied. This is simply an effort to obtain an as accurate as possible census of the number of adult, breeding-capable Buckeyes in North America.

This actually would be an ideal opportunity for politics to be set aside, and I am sure I, for one, would welcome attempts by others to do so. It should be a common goal by ALL organizations to determine how many such birds there are. There is no reason why we cannot rise above politics and reach that goal.

I would welcome cooperation from someone at the ABC to assist. Is there someone within the group who would like to volunteer to do so?
 

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I have a hard time seeing how an ad in the Poultry Press qualifies as trying to contact as many as possible. Are you going to contact any of the hatcheries that sell Buckeyes? What about magazines like Grit, Mother Earth News, and people like The Chicken Whisperer? This is just off the top of my head.

My next question is what are they going to do with the info? Are they going to promote breeders or just ALBC members? Are they going to update their map?

Just wondering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have a hard time seeing how an ad in the Poultry Press qualifies as trying to contact as many as possible.
Don't think there's an ad in Poultry Press about this yet. So don't know what you're talking about there. This is just the very start of the process. I expect this to take all summer. Please be patient, I just posted the first message about this two days ago. Thanks.

Are you going to contact any of the hatcheries that sell Buckeyes?
Sure, why not? They have adult breeding birds.

What about magazines like Grit, Mother Earth News, and people like The Chicken Whisperer? This is just off the top of my head.
Do they have adult Buckeyes of breeding age?

My next question is what are they going to do with the info?
Not completely sure yet, as I said before this is still in the initial stages. If nothing else, it will be used to determine at which place Buckeyes should be on the ALBC Watch List. Currently they are listed as Threatened. I am willing to bet they can be moved to Watch at this point.

Are they going to promote breeders or just ALBC members?
I don't know that anyone is going to be promoted (whatever that means), ALBC or otherwise.

Are they going to update their map? Just wondering.
Map? Do you mean their Watch List?
 

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Think it would be better if a group outside of the Buckeye realm did this "census". This way all parties would be able to see the stats as they are with no interference within. I don't trust any group to perform their own "census" period. Not just in the Buckey world but also in other areas as well. ALBC needs to re-think how they want this done and go outside the box to get the info. In doing that then that third party can obtain names thru the known groups and by word of mouth, shows, etc...
 

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Just to keep things simple:

1. The original census was not widely publicized. Consisted mostly of two ads in the Poultry Press and a couple other small efforts. No real effort to contact breeders listed in directories, on state NPIP lists, etc. There is a lot of information in the public domain, particularly on the internet that can give a dedicated person several weeks work tracking down present and former owners. Anything less is going to be inadequate at getting good statistics. Relying on the results of voluntary respondents in a survey to mail back a card or form is about as un-scientific as one can get. Might as well just SWAG it.

2. Why not contact hatcheries indeed? Did it happen last time? Can't tell from the ALBC site. But when they have results like this: http://www.albc-usa.org/documents/2010chickenchanges.pdf I'm deeply suspicious. 72 adult Buckeyes in the whole country? Color me skeptical.

3. With the rise of interest in backyard poultry and the popularity of Buckeye chickens, I would think agricultural periodicals would be a good place to start a survey. Please do not insult our intelligence by suggesting magazines own chickens. It's unbecoming and certainly disinclines me from thinking I am conversing with an adult.

4. If that's all they are using it for, then fine. I find it interesting that they do not assign their activity priorities based on the status of the individual breed. For instance, I would think LF Silver Spangled Hamburgs would be a higher priority based on their numbers compared to Buckeyes. You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of breeders in this country. So why do Buckeyes get the nod and Hamburgs don't?

5. The ALBC encourages certification of "Heritage" flocks and using the term "Heritage" to promote certified livestock.

6. I meant map. See: http://www.batchgeo.com/map/5ca90ab1025322e4dd82a2dd12970447

I find it curious that Meyer hatchery can report 129 Buckeye adults on their census, but the ALBC final tally shows only 72 total. It is any wonder I'm skeptical of the results?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Rick,

Please bear in mind, I was recruited to assist in the previous census in the middle of the process. I was not privy to the entire thing, nor was I in charge of how the results were gathered nor used. I simply assisted in gathering data. Same thing this time.

Perhaps all your suggestions should go in a well-crafted email to the ALBC itself? I am sure they would appreciate your input.

As well, perhaps you would like to be the person who collaborates in this effort from the ABC? You seem as if you have a very good grasp of what can be done to improve the results, and have some good ideas. I would be happy to cooperate with you if you would be willing to do so. Let me know if that is the case. Or you can email Jeannette directly.
 

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"1. The original census was not widely publicized. Consisted mostly of two ads in the Poultry Press and a couple other small efforts. No real effort to contact breeders listed in directories, on state NPIP lists, etc. There is a lot of information in the public domain, particularly on the internet that can give a dedicated person several weeks work tracking down present and former owners. .. Might as well just SWAG it."
Great idea; looks like the ALBC needs to sign you up to handle that. (BTW, What is "SWAG"?)

"2. Why not contact hatcheries indeed? Did it happen last time? Can't tell from the ALBC site."

You can, you just have to know where to look. The single breeder in Texas for example, is Ideal Hatchery.

"3. With the rise of interest in backyard poultry and the popularity of Buckeye chickens, I would think agricultural periodicals would be a good place to start a survey. "
Apparently, so did the ALBC, which is why they put an ad in the Poultry Press, trying to get the most bang for their buck. OTOH, placing ads in all the glossy feed store publications designed to appeal to the folks who just bought a half dozen straight run chicks and a 50 pound sack of feed gets expensive. Unless someone with deep pockets wants to make a substantial contribution to cover the cost, I'd think a viable alternative would be to seek out online poultry forums (such as this one) and put out a generic call for participation. (like pathfinder's post)

"4. If that's all they are using it for, then fine. I find it interesting that they do not assign their activity priorities based on the status of the individual breed."
One good reason I can see for asking about 'lines' would be to detect a genetic bottleneck; if there are ten times as many Buckeyes aas there were at the last census, that's great, but if, in gathering info about the lines it's discovered that 4/5ths of that increase trace back to one hatchery or one individual with a knack for self promotion, that's not as rosy.

"For instance, I would think LF Silver Spangled Hamburgs would be a higher priority based on their numbers compared to Buckeyes. You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of breeders in this country. So why do Buckeyes get the nod and Hamburgs don't?"
Aside from the fact that Hamburgs don't seem to have enough historical interest to warrant being counted by the ALBC at all, if you can list the breeders on one hand, didn't you just answer your own question?

"5. The ALBC encourages certification of "Heritage" flocks and using the term "Heritage" to promote certified livestock"
And...?
 

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Laura,

As a professional business consultant, I've learned not to consult for free (in most cases). My suggestions were more along the lines of a "customer complaint" than actionable items. At best, they are a good place to start.

One of the things I ask as a performance consultant is, "What does success look like?" In other words, for this census, I want to know why it's being conducted. The government conduct decennial censuses for apportionment purposes. I'm guessing that's not why they ALBC is conducting a census. So my question to them is what are you going to do with the information once you get it? And what are you going to do differently if you have low number from what you would do if you had high numbers?

Based on that answer the ABC's participation may or may not be meaningful. Like I said, I already have a hard time interpreting their published data, so I'm not sure adding another set of numbers is going to clear anything up.

Melody,

SWAG stands for Scientific [email protected]$$ Guess.

Part of my role as a consultant is communications (my current contract position is titled "Communications Consultant") and there are lots of ways to get the word out without paying for it. In fact, I've found that periodicals often pay me for my contributions. I should have one coming out in an upcoming issue of Acres U.S.A. on Synergistic Acres Farm in Kansas. I sent a similar article to GRIT, but haven'e heard back from Caleb Regan as to whether they want to run it as a feature or a column piece. Laura contributes to Backyard Poultry along with Jannette, so I would think between them and maybe even bring Don Shrider over from Omega Fields for a brief stint and have them write some publicity articles and spread them around. That's one way to get the word out without having to pay for it.

Hamburgs don't have enough "historical interest" to warrant being counted? That hardly harmonizes with the stated mission of the organization.

rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Rick (and everyone else),

Here's the thing. I posted this thread as an announcement. It was not meant to solicit complaints from you or anyone else. If you are a "customer" of the ALBC and have complaints for them, I encourage you to take those complaints to the source.

I do not work for the ALBC. I am a volunteer who has offered to help them in this particular instance with this particular project.

I would like to politely request that you and everyone else who has anything further negative to say about this particular project send it directly to the ALBC.

But posting messages here filled with criticisms just for the sake of being critical isn't very helpful and doesn't accomplish anything except to make you look negative for no reason.
 

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You, Laura(and the ABPC), partnered with the ALBC and posted this in a public forum. A public forum which is about opinion and facts. For you to post this and then demand that no one give any feedback is absurd. I know that any information you obtain will be used for other purposes. When someone asks about a breeder in their area, you say that you know of breeders that are not on any breeder directories and then you give out personal information of these breeders. I think that if they wanted their info given out, they would probably list their contact info on a breeder directory in the first place. So forgive me if I am skeptical of giving any info to you or your partner in this census other than how many adult breeding birds I have, if I even do that. I think Ricks questions are fair.
 

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Rick, Hamburgs are a swell old breed, but they are not on the ALBC's list of breeds they monitor. If you'd like to see the ALBC promote Hamburgs, pay your dues to join and work your way through whatever process is involved in getting them to list a breed. Clearly, complaining from "the outside" is not going to be a productive use of your time. (RE: SWAG, ah ha, I see, WAG I've heard of.)

Josh, I don't understand the paranoia hinted at in your remark about "any information you obtain will be used for other purposes." AFAIK, the ALBC is not partnered up with a debt collection agency, nor are they going to put your name on a list of "people to take guns away from and round up in FEMA camps when the Zombie Apocalypse starts." ;) The sole purpose of the census is to count chickens (that have already hatched and grown), and, where possible, determine if the breed is branching out genetically or if it is facing a genetic bottleneck down the road. If you are that worried about it, don't participate.

And FWIW, agreeing to help get the word out does not denote some decision making authority or co-ownership in the results. It's not that anyone doesn't want your "feedback" it's that this is the ALBC's census. If you have useful suggestions to make, write the ALBC.
 

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What is absurd is that you would continue to harass a volunteer, who has asked nicely for you members of the abc TO TAKE IT TO THE SOURCE, the ALBC. Have any of you done that yet?

And really, to speculate on the other is a joke. What she going to do with your city and state name, which is the only "personal'' information they are asking for? You yourself have already posted it all over the internet along with your name!
 
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