Above: Margaret and Jim Cooper
Margaret Cooper was a treasured member of the Brahma Club of Australia. Concentrating on the buff cochin breed, Margaret worked very hard over many years to improve and promote her beloved breed. Margaret was particularly concerned with the increasing prevalence of brachydactyly (shortened outer toe mutation) in the cochin and brahma breeds, and devoted herself to eradicating the deformity from her line of buff cochin. Meticulous with her record keeping, after just a few years of hard work Margaret succeeded in eradicating bracydactyly from her line, and produced buff cochins with heavily feathered feet and normal toes; a remarkable achievement. Besides working on her own line of fowl, Margaret eagerly shared the results of her breeding programs with poultry breeders from across Australia and overseas; educating many on the presence of the bracydactyly mutation and how to breed it out of their line. We will sadly miss Margaret but she will always remain in our memories. To honor Margaret we have provided a web page on the brachydactyly mutation. The page shows photos of the feet of some of Margaret's birds, both with and without brachydactyly. The page also includes references to some of the results of Margaret's breeding programs. Follow the link below to the brachydactyly page.
Brachydactyly page in development 5/10/2012
By JIM COOPER
Margaret Cooper migrated to Australia in 1958. Margaret brought experience with birds and animals, from an agricultural course, and working on poultry farms in Scotland.
During forty years of marriage to Jim, Marg was able to pursue her passion - surrounded by birds and animals, the more the better. Over the years, they ran cattle, sheep, horses, ducks, dogs, angora rabbits, chinese geese; and, for many years were 'full on' breeding up from Australian feral goats to produce top quality coloured cashmere fibre.
Margaret thrived on hard work, enjoyed a challenge, and was very focused.
She took on a huge old incubator for a friend, together with his forty or so eggs. The result turned the place in to a mini zoo, with a huge variety, including turkeys, but the challenge of an ostrich was very disappointing.
Seeking a new direction on the last of our lifestyle properties, at Dewhurst, Marg sought buff cochins, and was fortunate in obtaining birds which had come from Club President Bryan Jon, on his delightful Gippsland property.
A huge friendly buff cochin cockerel, with excellent features, provided a great start.
Accommodation was quickly provided, pens into a 6 square residential type garage - R/C air conditioning installed, to cope with the Melbourne summer. This, together with three small steel sheds, all with concrete floors.
The years which followed made us wish we had run these delightful birds years ago, together with our other enterprises.
A special memory is a short movie of Margaret calling, and leading, her flock to their pens from their free range day, which was spent mostly looking through the full length windows of our dwelling.
Margaret passed away peacefully, unexpectedly, at home in May 2011. Those of us who were 'touched' by her are all the richer.
Fifteen or so two day old chicks were taken by a breeder friend, and Margaret's daughters continue to run the adult birds.
Margaret enjoyed her connection with the club, especially with Luke Price, while selecting for correct toe formation, under his guidance.