USRCA Written Standard
I.BODY : Twenty Five Points
The bird should feel hard in your hand, with a strong muscular body. Birds feeling fat and mushy should be considered out of show condition and penalized accordingly. Birds with insufficient body should be considered out of show condition and penalized accordingly.
The overall shape of the body should be that of a wedge, starting with broad shoulders and a deep chest, ending with a tight, narrow rump. The body should be sufficiently wedged shaped from front to rear so that you feel the bird will slip right through your hand leaving you without even a tail feather. When moving the hand under the keel from front to rear, there should be one continuous unbroken contour with the keel ending as closely to the end of the vent bones as possible. The keel structure should not tuck up quickly into the body, thus creating a short, round shape, but should follow through smoothly into the vent area with strong flesh throughout to maintain the overall wedge shape. The keel bone itself should be smooth and straight; dents and/or curves should be considered faults. Excessive openness and/or weak flesh in the vent area is a serious fault and should be penalized accordingly.
II. HEAD AND NECK : Twenty Five Points
The profile of the head should start off with a definite break at the back of the wattle, with the front skull creating a 90-degree angle with the centerline of the beak and eye. From here it should continue upward slightly and then curve backward abruptly until it reaches its high point above and just in front of the eye. The top line should then continue backward abruptly until it reaches its high point above and just in front of the eye. The top line should then continue backward in a long graceful curve creating length to the back skull. The back skull should then drop off in an abrupt curve flowing down and out into the neck creating a full cape ending at the bird's back. There should be no flat spots in the profile of the head. When viewing the profile, the distance from the center of the eye to the end of the back skull should be twice that as from the front skull to the center of the eye. Top skull should not be lacking and should show sufficient height above the eye, but the head should not give the impression of being round. While in show station and in the hand, the bird will tuck its beak towards its chest; thereby, moving the visual high point toward the end of the back skull. From the top view the head should be wedge shaped, starting with a broad frontal and increasing in width as it reaches the back skull, the sides should not be parallel. Also from the top view the neck should be full in all directions. When viewed from the front the face should develop immediately behind the beak, flaring outward to establish a wide full face. When viewed from the front the wedge shape should be obvious. Too narrow of a face or a "pinched" V-shaped face is a serious fault and should be penalized accordingly. Also a face that is so wide as to prevent you from seeing a portion of both eyes when viewed from straight on is a serious fault and should be penalized accordingly. The head should be viewed in the hand and in the judging coop; a head that loses shape and or size in the hand is a serious fault and should be penalized accordingly.
The neck should join smoothly to the head and present a full appearance with minimum under cut where the lower beak joins the neck. The neckline should follow the profile without any sharp or sudden breaks to mar its continuity The neck should give a full, powerful appearance. The neck should be short rather than long; but a neck less appearance in the cage should be avoided. In the hand, a minimal amount of neck should be displayed at all times. The neck should be smooth and free of any roughness of feather. Creases are a serious fault and should be penalized accordingly.
Any color is acceptable. The beak setting should be such that when the line formed between the upper and lower mandibles is extended, it passes through the center of the pupil. If the line were to pass under the eye, the bird should be considered to too straight faced. Being straight faced or down faced is a fault and should be penalized accordingly. The upper and lower mandibles should be flush at the tip and should be of substance proportionate to the bird. Too fine or too coarse of beak is a fault. The wattle should be such an integral part of the beak in structure as to go unnoticed. Rough, fleshy wattles are a serious fault and should be penalized accordingly. The throat line should be clean with no signs of a gullet or feathers growing excessively forward on the lower beak.
Any color eyes are acceptable but must be a matched pair. Eyes should be bright and sparkling, exuding health. The pupils should be clear, round in shape and centered in the eye. The overall shape of the eye should be round. Excessive feathering around the eye, which gives the illusion of a sunken eye or one that is oval in shape, is a serious fault and should be penalized accordingly. The eye cere should be of a minimum. Fleshy and/or red eye ceres are a serious fault and should be penalized accordingly. Birds with lines or breaks in the pupil of the eye or odd eyes should be moved to the "Bad Eye" class if one is available, otherwise they should be disqualified. Bull eyed and dark eyed birds should not be penalized if lighting is inadequate to view the pupils.
III .CONFORMATION : Twenty Five Points
The outer shell of the total bird should depict a well proportioned, balanced bird. The overall impression of the bird's body should be one of roundness, with a reverse "S" shape running from the front skull through the tail. When viewed from a profile there should be ¾" of body showing below the wing. The body should also be of sufficient depth from the point where the neck meets the back to the point of the belly just in front of and below the wing butt to lend itself to overall roundness. A bird that is flat in the belly or gives a tubular appearance should be penalized accordingly.
B. RELAXED STATION
The natural station of the bird should be head up and tail down, with a maximum of 1" clearance between the end of the tail and the floor. A line drawn from the most forward point of the wing butt through the end of the tail should maintain approximately a 30-degree angle with the floor. A bird showing this line to be parallel has a serious fault and should be penalized accordingly. A vertical line drawn through the eye down to the floor should fall in the front half of the foot. The bird should remain in this natural station whenever it is not being addressed by the judge.
C. SHOW STATION
The bird should exhibit a natural showing ability, responding to the presence of the judge without much prompting. When addressed by the judge, the bird should pick up its head accentuating the lines and fullness of its head and neck and move its head back so that the eye is now over the ball of the leading foot. In doing this, its chest should also raise slightly causing its tail to drop closer to the floor. The bird should not "hinge" or break at its rump; this is a serious fault and should be penalized accordingly. Slight contact with the floor is not a fault, but pushing the tail into the floor and/or excessive fanning of the tail is a serious fault and should be penalized accordingly.
Legs should be sturdy, short and bent at a 60-degree angle. There should be a distance of not more than ¾" for cocks and ½" for hens from the floor to the bottom of the body. Straight legs and/or long legs are a serious fault and should be penalized accordingly. The legs and feet should be clean, free of feathers, with a minimum of toenail.
The wings should be tightly folded against the body and appear integral with it. They should rest upon the tail, with the flights ending 5/8" back from its tip when judged in hand. No feather should extend below the lower line of the primaries. The wing butts should blend in smoothly with the front of the chest. Each wing shall have ten secondary flights and ten primary flights. When the wing is extended the ends of the flights should form a convex curve. Each of the flights should overlap its adjacent flight throughout its entire length, with the exception of the three outside primaries, which will show gaps between their ends. The flights should be side. Narrow and/or weak quilled flights are serious faults and should be penalized accordingly.
The rump should be strong and narrow and conform to the general wedge shape and symmetry of the body and tail. The body, rump and tail should taper into the width of one tail feather. Wide rumps are a serious fault and should be penalized accordingly.
The tail should be comprised of twelve feathers, strong in quill, tightly packed in strong support feathers and extending in a one feather width 5/8" past the wing tips. The tail should be at its narrowest approximately ¼ of its length from the tip, forming what is commonly called "spoon" tail. A tail with less than twelve feathers should be compared to the overall natural molt and given consideration. A tail with more than twelve feathers is a disqualification.
The height should be 8" from the floor to the top of the head for cocks and 7-1/2" for hens. The length should be 10-1/2" from the chest to the tip of the tail for cocks and 9-1/2" for hens. The width, when measured in a relaxed standing position should be 4-3/4" for cocks and 4-1/2" for hens. Weight for a bird in show condition should be 14 to 17 ounces for old cocks, 13 to 16 ounces for young cocks, 13 to 15 ½ ounces for old hens and 12 to 14-1/2 ounces for young hens. A bird of any given age/sex group that is over the upper limit for that group is too fat or too large. A bird below the lower limit is too thin or too small. Both cases are serious faults and should be penalized accordingly.
Expression is those attributes of the bird, which give it a very captivating presence in the show pen. Attributes such as eye and beak color combined with markings that give a bird that certain flash. Expression may also be seen in the way a bird presents itself in the judging cage, such as a hen being especially flirtatious or a cock flexing his masculinity, making it very noticeable to an audience. Expression is not necessarily something you can touch; it is more of an overall appeal to your senses.
The bird must be calm; definitely not wild or afraid. It may respond to the judge with a bluff and display, but an extreme aggressive nature is not desired. Wing slapping is not a fault unless it interferes with the judges attempt to view the bird. The bird's reaction should be appropriate for its sex; the cock should exude masculinity and the hen femininity. The hen may either become flirtatious or establish her territory with a broody threat display. The cock should acknowledge the judge's presence in a more aloof, disdainful manner; elevating his neck and chest slightly and swelling himself up in a threat display.
IV. FEATHER : Twenty Five Points
The entire bird from head to tail should be in perfect molt, creating a firm, smooth coat of feathers with a sheen and texture that reflects health, strength and maturity. There should be a minimum of looseness of feathers under the rump. The feather structure must be strong in quill, springy and of sufficient length to cover the bird. If the bird has not completed its molt, the time of year and the birds overall condition should be taken into consideration.
The bird's back should be completely covered with wide secondary feathers so that none of the back area is exposed.
The bird should be clean and free of parasites. There should not be any evidence of parasites such as mite/lice holes. Such feather damage is a serious fault and should be penalized accordingly. The presence of parasites (lice and/or mites, etc.) on a bird is a disqualification and the bird should be removed from the show.