Currently, the American Serama has three accepted varieties with the American Bantam Association (ABA). They are the white, black, and exchequer varieties. With the qualifying meet for the blue and splash varieties of the American Serama scheduled, I thought it may be beneficial to type up an overview of this process to help to clarify for our membership.
The ABA qualifying meet is scheduled to be held at the 2022 American Bantam Association Nationals in Columbus, Ohio in November.
ABA licensed judge/s will examine and judge the blue and splash varieties of the American Serama that are entered into the open show and make a formal recommendation to the ABA Board of Directors as to whether the breeders exhibiting the varieties have sufficiently demonstrated consistency in breeding to the variety’s standard. The standard can be found in the Bantam Standard published and sold by the ABA or as a benefit to current SCNA club members. In the blue and splash varieties, the plumage standards are those already recognized across other breeds of exhibition poultry published in the Bantam Standard. Currently, these variety descriptions are being selectively bred for in the American Serama.
For consideration of acceptance of a new variety, the ABA maintains the following specific requirements: 5 or more breeders who are ABA members shall each enter a display of American Serama (or the respective breed) attesting that they are breeding true to variety at least 50% of the time. These birds should demonstrate the breed standard for type and the variety standard for the bird’s pattern and color. The breeders are required to submit a petition and pay the applicable fees to the ABA to request consideration of the variety for acceptance. The ABA then requires a formal recommendation by a Licensed Judge/s based upon their review and attestation that the birds exhibited meet or exceed the requirements necessary for them to recommend acceptance of the variety to the Bantam Standard as a variety of the American Serama.
Therefore, this meet is the culmination of 5 or more years of work toward a variety. A dedication of breeder’s efforts to selecting for the specific color requirements of the existing variety standard for color of plumage, shank, eye, and lobe while maintaining the type of the American Serama as described in the breed standard.
Working toward the acceptance of a new variety is not a fast or easy process, but it is a dedicated and patient effort across dedicated breeders with detailed breeding, selection, and culling efforts. As the largest and predominant breed club representing the Serama in all of its forms, the SCNA sometimes gets requests or feedback requesting additional varieties be added for in-cage showing, this is the arduous process required for each new variety. It isn’t a process that has been developed by the SCNA, but we participate by initiating and then adhering to this procedure.
Any ABA member can partake upon this process if they have identified several other ABA members collectively willing to work toward a common goal who are also willing to invest their funds in filing an application for acceptance of their variety. One challenge we have encountered in working toward the acceptance of additional American varieties are key, designated breeders exiting the breed or ending their work on the project before acceptance and/or said breeders being unable or unwilling to travel to the qualifying meets where the location is typically chosen in line with major ABA shows such as their national show. A five-year project is quite a commitment.
Our goal should be to present superior blue and splash American Serama for the ABA judges at our qualifying meet. While the 5 identified breeders should be presenting their displays as mentioned above, it is paramount that we have as many quality specimens of all classes (cock, cockerel, hen, pullet) entered in the open show as possible with a goal of demonstrating the overall depth and quality of our efforts.
To benefit the breed, it’s paramount that we work together as Serama fanciers to achieve these goals. Participants do not have to be a member of SCNA or the ABA or any specific poultry club to participate, if they are not one of the specific 5 ABA members listed on the application.Recognition of a new variety is a breed effort and should span across clubs and fanciers.
The most important thing is that American Serama breeders enter their blue and splash variety American Serama into the show hosting our qualifying meet. Of course, we would also love the overall class to be large so enter those blacks, whites, and exchequers as well so we can see how far we have come as a breed.
If you have questions about breeding quality blue or splash American Serama, many of us are happy to help guide you. Please reach out and know that we are actively working to develop and share additional learning resources with our members.