On my return to the fancy, I realised there were a few changes some good and some not so good. One of the good changes was finding the colours and variety, Spangle.
Having bred Spangle chickens, the variety interested me straight away. I bought two cock birds and one hen from Ernie Sigston, which was my foundation stock.
On pairing all three to Normals, I soon found there were varying degrees of Spangle markings not always true and the "bullseye" spots were very poor in some cases. I soon learnt that this variety had almost every colour and variety put into it with no regard to markings and the effect some colours would have on the Spangle.
Like most fanciers, I came across the Double Factor, which threw me completely. Why breed Spangles with no markings when the point of the variety is the lovely Spangle markings? I have been told that it is a good way of improving the markings if you pair a Double Factor back to a Normal. I have tried this and in the main, it does not seem any more successful than Single Factor to Normal. There is also the matter of which class a Double Factor should be shown in.
I do think there have been some outstanding birds shown; one of a few years ago, the Double Factor Spangle cock shown by Frank Silva.
Frank was kind enough to give me some very good birds to improve my stock, which seemed to fit in very well with my existing stud of Spangles. It is the kind of generosity that makes the fancy worthwhile particularly when we will be in the same division next year. Thank you Frank!
I would also like to mention other fanciers, the partnership of Sue and Rod Clarke who I have swapped birds with. I was at a bird show once admiring a lovely Spangle Light Green cock which I remember had got one of its many best in show awards, and Sue asked whether I would like one of his sisters. After the show it was mine. Who said that its all about money!
Having a leaning towards breeding birds, not showing, I have learnt so much about this lovely variety and there is still a good deal more to find out by pairing different markings together what a challenge. Lastly, thank you for all the help from the Spangle Society, I think its one of the best Specialist Clubs.
Issue No.23 ~ Spring 1999