Whiting Farms Coq De Leon Bronze Rooster Saddle
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The Coq de Leon is the oldest known chicken strain specifically bred for fly tying feathers. References to these rooster feathers, and the special flies tied with them, are found in manuscripts going back to as early as 1624. Therefore, the strain could even have been in existence for hundreds of years prior to 1624.
In the early 1990’s Dr. Thomas Whiting, founder and owner of Whiting Farms, Inc., became intirgued with these near mythical Coq de Leon fowl. And so during the mid 1990’s he succeeded in importing Coq de Leon stock from 3 different sources. For the first several generations Dr. Whiting personally kept and cared for these proud birds at his own residence, studying them and their unique feathers. Applying what had been learned from the genetic breeding of the other fly tying feather strains at Whiting Farms, Dr. Whiting embarked on cultivating and developing his own poulation of Coq de Leon. A new genetic tactic of selection for the highest quality first nuptial plumage was initiated. This differed fundamentally from the traditional Spanish methodology that relied on periodic, repeated plucking of the desired feathers from only a few elite roosters. The Whiting approach resulted in a much higer rate of genetic progress, due to the large number of breeder candidates, and a more rapid turnover of generations, referred to as genetic selection pressur and generational rate, respectively. In addition the females of the Coq de Leon strain were also rigorously selected, for specific feather characteristics, pedigree information, and particularly for a very complex and attractive mottled feather pattern that makes them uniquely valuable as a source of fly tying feather. By the year 2000 the Whiting Farms Coq de Leon feather products were ready for market.
As with all feathers from Whiting Farms, Whiting Coq de Leon feathers are scientifically cultivated to optimize the realization of the stock’s genetic potential. The pelts are washed and cured, then graded as to quality and value by their staff. The demanding tying process is expertly conducted to assure excellent color, dye fastness, and consistency. Whiting Coq de Leon Rooster Saddle is a very versatile feather, and can be used in a variety of fly tying applications.