Over at the "Buckeye Chicken" thread we had a question that generated a bit of a buzz..... "Who exactly puts out chicken standard and where can one find them?" Those of you with some poultry experience already know who the American Poultry Association (APA) is and what they do but for folks NEW to chickens they don't know that many "pure-bred" breeds actually have a breed "standard"! The APA calls their standard the SoP or "Standard of Perfection" and it is updated as standards are changed or added. Below is the APA's own mission statement; "To promote and protect the standard-bred poultry industry in all its phases. To continue the publication of the American Standard of Perfection with the breed and variety descriptions for all the recognized purebred fowl. To encourage and protect poultry shows as being the show window of our industry, an education for both breeders and public, and a means of interesting young future breeders in taking up poultry. To assist, encourage and help educate the junior poultry man to the sound and practical value of standard-bred poultry and pure breeding." To learn more about the APA visit their website http://www.amerpoultryassn.com/ It's also important to mention that most hatchery birds are NOT "standard-bred" and just because a hatchery sells you a Rhode Island Red doesn't mean it looks like a "standard-bred" RIR....many hatcheries pass off "Production Reds" as RIR's! This is difficult for many folks new to the world of poultry to understand and when someone goes to a Breed Club (like the American Buckeye Club for example) and compare pictures of "standard bred" Buckeyes to hatchery or "utility grade" Buckeyes they generally have questions as to why. Few hatcheries take the time to properly select or breed to a "standard".....they may produce offspring that is "pure-bred" in nature but they may not meet any "standard". This is also why hatchery prices are often so much cheaper but if you are looking for meat or layers (not breeding stock) the hatchery birds serve a purpose!