The Importance of Heritage Breeds

Many people have given me a blank stare when I've mentioned that all our poultry breeds are heritage breeds. So I thought I'd give you a quick explanation of what they are. Much like the animal version of the "heirloom variety" plants that are regaining their popularity, heritage breeds are the "classic" farm breeds that helped to build this country. However, they fell out of fashion as family and community driven farms were replaced by profit driven factory farms. Many of these historically significant breeds are now in danger of extinction, and I believe this would be a terrible tragedy not only as a loss of our common history, but also as a further loss of biodiversity. Monoculture is an incredibly real danger in the agricultural world, and the end result could be disastrous. So in order to keep the heritage breed going and to ensure biodiversity and the continuation of such historically important breeds of farm animals, many small farmers are attempting to keep these breeds alive.  The American Livestock Breed Conservancy is an organization attempting to keep these precious breeds from extinction. Think of it as the World Wildlife Fund for domesticated animals. It is from this organization that I research and choose my feathery companions.