American Long Crowers

by Clark Kidder
3219 E County Road N
Milton, Wisconsin 53563

with permission from
SPPA Bulletin, 1997, 2(3):7

Craig Russell has asked me to write a few lines about my experiences raising what I call the "American" Long Crowers. Originally these were the Japanese Toumaru, of course. My strain found its way to the U.S. thru Mr. Horst Schmudde of New Jersey who had gotten them from Holland. There remains one breeder of them in Holland, but only one.

It was in the early 90s that I obtained my first stock from Mr. Ron Nelson who resides here in Wisconsin. He informed me that his birds had come from a man in Missouri who was forced to mate the Long Crowers with Minorcas for some reason or another. Just how much was lost in the way of crowing length as a result of the cross is unknown. A Black Sumatra would have been a better choice for the cross. I say this because of low tail carriage and type. The true Toumaru is a real gamey looking bird. A single combed, beefed up version of the Sumatra if you will.

I have not had a rooster crow for more than seven seconds in my strain. Even so, it is long enough to get quite a charge out of listening to it. From what I have learned, it is common for them to crow for 10 to12 seconds in Japan, with exceptional specimens crowing for up to 20 seconds and longer! I recently inquired as to the availability of the Toumaru in Japan, as well as the price. The cost of a rooster that is guaranteed to crow at least 15 seconds is $1,500 (U.S.)! Pairs run $200 - $300 with roosters that crow 10-12 seconds. The cost of quarantine in Japan for 3 days is $500.00, before they even leave the country! Needless to say, it is too cost prohibitive to import any new blood.

I have obtained a few birds from my good friend Lowell Barber in North Carolina that descend from a different Dutch line than mine do and these could very well provide the impetus that mine need to increase the length of crow.

I find the Toumaru to be quite a friendly chicken, at least in comparison to the Black Crested White Polish I raise. They are pretty good layers of light brown medium sized eggs and appear to be non-broody. The plumage is the characteristic "beetle-green" that is common to the Minorcas, Australorps, Sumatra, etc. and more importantly the original color of the true Toumaru. The chicks hatch out colored black and white and are steady, but not fast to mature. I await with much anticipation for the roosters to "come of age" and begin to crow at about six months of age. I place them in a pen close to the house here so that I may monitor each rooster and choose ultimately the one that crows the longest to retain for my breeding flock. I place one or two hens in the pen and introduce a new rooster every few weeks, monitoring the crowing length of each subsequent rooster. This has been a good system for me. Now that I have some new pure Dutch blood to introduce, I'll be waiting ever so patiently for the male progeny to reach that Magical six months of age. It is then that I'll learn whether or not the young cockerels will sing me an even longer song.

The new male does crow longer than my current stock but Toumaru usually produce their longest crows very early in the morning, the first songs of the day, and I haven't been able to get an accurate measurement of his maximum length as of yet.

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