|Posted by Danny Padgett on January 29, 2012 at 2:15 PM|
Recently we had the honor of having James Carson, out of Canada, a well known judge to many of us, visit our place after judging the Florida Sunshine Classic. See what he had to say below:
On Sunday January 8th, 2012, I had the pleasure of visiting Padgett’s Exhibition Poultry Farm. Needless to say, I was very impressed with the variety and quality. For several years, the Padgett name has been well-known for their Large Cornish and Muscovy ducks, though their Lake Butler, FL Farm is also home to several other breeds of superior quality. It would be very difficult to comment on all of their breeds in detail (in one short article). Although, the following are definitely deserving of comment.
First-off, Danny and Norma’s flock of Large Orpingtons are a very impressive group. When one first thinks of quality Large Orps, the Buffs are often the first variety to come to mind. Although their Buffs are very good, I was especially “blown-away” by their Blacks & Blues. They have large flocks in these colors, all with great color & tremendous size. Although relatively new for them, their Large White Rocks are of high caliber as well. These birds have good size & great type. Their Large Silver Penciled Rocks are also noteworthy. They’ve put a lot of work into this somewhat rare variety, and maintain a large group of them. The color & size of these birds is far better than what most others (that I’ve seen) are. Rounding-out the Rock collection were very nice Barreds & Partridge. The flock of Large Black Langhans are great as well. These big Asiatics had super beetle-green color & beautiful type. Large White Leghorns are there as well, in significant numbers. Like their other breeds, these too could easily compete with the “best anywhere”. Although most of the Leghorns were SC Whites, they also have very nice RC Whites. Am sure that I am missing several other breeds of Largefowl, though before moving-on to their other birds, there are three other breeds in Large that I must mention. A small (though very nice) group of the rare Coronation Sussex really caught my eye. For those that aren’t familiar with this variety, they are basically a blue form of the Light Sussex. This was the first time that I’d seen “live specimens” (ie- not just pictures of them) in this color. They were beautiful birds. One cannot write an article on the Padgett Largefowl, without mentioning the Cornish. Large Cornish in White, Dark & WL Red are still among the most impressive birds on their farm. These are by no means “run of the mill” meat-type Cornish, though are all great exhibition-bred birds, with lots of size, great bone/legs and color. The last Largefowl that I’ll mention are the Sumatras. Several of these exotic beauties roamed the property, & all were of proper type and size.
As with the Largefowl, the Padgett collection of Bantams chickens is also an impressive group. They are raising several breeds, with large breeding flocks in most. The White Wyandottes are especially good, with proper type & head points. I was also pleased to see a group of well colored Buff Wyandottes, a variety that I would consider to be quite rare. The RI Red Bantams were of very high quality, having good back-lines & proper Red coloring. Although in slightly lesser numbers, other high-class Bantams that I observed included Leghorns, Langshans & Polish. As with the Largefowl one cannot comment on their chickens without giving due-credit to Danny’s Cornish Bantams. The Dark variety predominated in numbers, with lots of quality throughout. These little Darks had great type, size and color.
Last, though certainly not least, are Padgett’s Turkeys and Waterfowl. In Turkeys I was witness to the best group of Bronze that I’ve ever seen. They have several breeding-pens, each comprised of a powerful tom and several big hens. All of these great birds were REAL Bronze Turkeys, each having the proper size, type, markings and with tremendous “bronzing”. I see a lot of Turkeys that “carry” the Bronze name, though aren’t of the proper coloring. I can assure you though, that the Padgett flock is comprised of true Exhibition-type Bronze Turkeys. In Geese, a very nice flock of Embdens dominated in numbers. As is the case with the Bronze Turkeys, these Geese are true to their breed’s standard… meaning that they are not just “big white geese”. They are large birds, with the proper stance & underlines. I saw no short/dumpy Embdens in this flock. In ducks, they are currently working with only two breeds. First were the Aylesburies, which were a real pleasure to see, as I would consider a large flock of this quality to be quite rare now. The majority of these birds had great length, were heavily keeled and had ideal bill color. Now on to the Muscovies! I would guess that their flock of Muscovies includes upwards of 200 birds in Black, Blue, Chocolate, Silver and White. Words can’t truly describe the depth of quality in this group, as I don’t recall seeing even a single bird that could be considered “average”. They not only have great size, though they also have superior type and color. Their caruncling is amazing… lots of it, though not over-done. Considering all of the Muscovies that I’ve seen/judged over the years, I believe this flock to easily be one of (if not the) best flocks in North America. And, from the pictures that I’ve seen of winners in other countries, I highly doubt that there are any better flocks ANYWHERE.
In closing, I would very highly suggest Padgett’s Exhibition Poultry Farm to anyone who is looking for high quality stock, from an honest and reputable source. Should you be in search of birds to show, or just wish to have quality birds to enjoy for yourself, you won’t be disappointed with birds from this flock.