Reported by Janice Al-Nasser, Publicity Officer.
Over 100 spangle enthusiasts attended the recent Spangle Day organised by the Spangled BBA incorporating a show and the AGM. Much of the success of this event was due to two of the most prominent fanciers in the World who were invited as speakers; Jo Mannes from Germany and our own Jeff Attwood.
Joint SBBA presidents Clifton & Marion Wixon opened the meeting by thanking both Les Martin and Frank Silva for organising and sponsoring the event. After an initial introduction to the speakers by the society's chairman Stuart Forbes, Jeff Attwood went to judge the show and the chairman held a face-to-face session with Jo Mannes.
Jo informed the meeting that the first spangles he obtained were two light greens from Rolf Christenson of Switzerland in October 1980. All his spangles came from these two initial birds. The hen was paired to a cock from his best normal line but was split for opaline. He had many chicks from that pair including an opaline cinnamon spangle hen, which was very nice but he was unable to show it as in those days in Germany only normal spangles were allowed on the show bench. The cinnamon added feather quality to the variety. After 3 years, the German society made a special class for opaline and cinnamon spangles.
Jo found that the wing marking was very good on the normal variety but not as good with the opaline. When Rolf Christenson sold his spangles before he went back to Australia he sold some in Switzerland, two to him, for which he paid a lot of money, and the rest to his friend Reinhard Molkentin. In April 1981 he sent a spangle to Doug Sadler as a present.
Making A Problem
Wing marking on spangles Jo found, is always a problem. The early spangles had better and well-defined marking. Nowadays with selective pairing a breeder can still achieve that desired marking of the early spangles. Jo found the cinnamon factor on the double factor was very good as it gave a much clearer body colour. Jo told the audience that he found the pairing of double factor to single factor enhanced the wing marking as well as the yellowface on the spangles.
Jo went on to say that many think he evolved a new mutation with regard to the facial directional feathering. His best birds came from England with imports from Mrs. Moss, Jim Moffatt and Ormerod and Sadler. Both the Moffatt and Sadler birds brought him the depth of mask. By mixing these birds with the late Jo Swartsburg's rougher birds, this directional feathering evolved. These birds had the appearance of the Chinese eyes.
Jo informed the audience that he feeds his birds a lot of hard-boiled eggs; 3000 eggs per year. He uses 8 eggs per day with the shell for his 72 breeding cages and mixes them with Orlux egg food, a little parsley and carrots. Every day he uses soaked oats, but not sprouted.
He does not get many outcrosses, the last being ten years ago which was a Texas Clearbody. It is difficult for him to compare spangles in countries unless they are side by side but he judged recently in Brazil and both best and second best in show were spangles.
Alf Ormerod, Doug Sadler and Jim Moffatt had the most influence on him and Alf had great impact in Germany in upgrading the standard of the birds. Jo felt that hens have a greater influence in the stud than cocks.
He Gave Them Their Name
After a short break Jeff Attwood gave a slide show concentrating on spangles and some of their background. He informed the audience that Frank Gardner from Melbourne, Australia was the first to show the variety and gave them the name "spangle". The spangles arrived to the U.K. in 1981 from two sources of the original birds that Rolf Christenson brought from Australia to Switzerland. One source from Switzerland went to the late Alf Ormerod and the other source from Jo Mannes went to Doug Sadler. Soon after other spangles arrived from Reinhard Molkentin as well.
The initial spangles were very fertile and because they are dominant they produced better stock than themselves, due to the quality birds to which they were paired.
Jeff informed the meeting that the first spangle to win a C.C. at the B.S. club show, a dark green cock, was benched by the late Vic Smith in 1984 and was shown in the any other colour class. Spangles should be well marked and he finds the dark factor most striking; he once bred a goldenface olive green spangle, which was a most beautiful bird. Jeff also noticed that with some spangles the wing marking tends to fade away when the bird gets older.
Jeff reflected on his visit in 1988 to Jo Mannes where he saw birds of such quality that he had never seen before, they were incredible. When visiting him again in 1993 he saw a bird that he wanted and obtained it a year later. This bird laid the foundation to some of his winning stud by improving the feather quality.
Jeff found that pairing two single factor spangles together tend to produce very well marked single factor spangles.
Jeff presented his slide show concentrating on the good and bad features of spangles.
Both Jo and Jeff agreed that spangles are best kept in the normal varieties only with the dark factor added to them. And although some spangles have the solid spots now instead of the "bullseye" spots, the breeder needs to be very selective in the pairing and keep only those with the good spots.
Before the AGM commenced, the outgoing presidents presented the awards to the winners who were: best spangle in show and best novice, J. Crooks (light green cock); best champion, C & D Jones (dark green cock); best intermediate, C. Thorne (dark green hen); best beginner, S. Speed (double factor yellow cock) and best spangle variety marking, H & M Hough (grey green hen).
At the AGM another husband and wife partnership, Rod & Sue Clarke, were inaugurated as the new presidents and Janice Al-Nasser was elected to the post of president-elect. J. Attwood, B & C Heale and F. Silva were added to the list of vice presidents, joining F. Canham, R. Molkentin and R. Stringer. G. Al-Nasser was already life vice president. All other officers remained the same: chairman & subscription secretary, S. Forbes; secretary, C. Wixon (98 Highworth Crescent, Yate, Bristol BS37 4HL. Tel: 01454 881334); vice chairman & editor, Mrs. M. Wixon; patronage secretary, A. Moore; publicity officer, Mrs. J. Al-Nasser; trophy steward, Mrs. S. Clarke; committee, R. Clarke, J. Cosby, L. Martin & F. Silva.