Why do people raise poultry? Heritage Breed Preservation
For many people, the drive and inspiration to raise poultry is to be a part of Heritage Breed Preservation. Conserving historic breeds of birds is a noble pursuit.
Many breeds have started disappearing as people became less inclined to grow their own food. Big commercial operations opted to raise poultry that are super-productive – using pressure genetics to get huge amounts of growth on less feed and in less time. This trend has led to the classic heritage breeds becoming more and more endangered. It also has cut back on the natural poultry diversity that this country should have.
There are many organizations dedicated to preservation and conservation of endangered heritage breeds. The Livestock Conservancy is most well-known and largest in the United States.
Being a part of the conservation of historic breeds is exciting and addictive. These classic yet endangered breeds are a part of the biodiversity of the world, and they each represent a part of the history and culture of the human race. One could truly say that losing these breeds and just having super-production poultry would dampen and erode the human spirit. It would also hurt agriculture in general – just by the lack of biodiversity.
Heritage breeds offer much genetically to poultry as a whole. Valuable traits like maternal instincts and broodiness, disease resistance, hardiness and self-sufficiency, fertility, and foraging ability need to be saved. These are the birds that do well when raised outside on pasture. They can take care of themselves and their offspring and can breed naturally.
People who keep poultry for the purpose of preserving heritage breeds are doing it for the sake of future generations and the future of agriculture. These birds are truly treasures.