Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Heritage Breeds/Varieties

I've been doing a little research lately on heritage breed chickens because of a hen of mine going broody.  Broody means that she has gone into the state when she is bound and determined to raise her own brood of chicks.  It has been really quite interesting to watch, and although I was not going to raise chicks, I have decided to do so because of the health of this chicken.

Broody chickens go into a zen, almost comatose state and will not leave their nest, and with my chicken it has meant even to the detriment of herself.  When I would try to put her back in with the other hens, they would pick on her terribly, so I just decided to let her stay in her nest.  The point that I am trying to make is that these chickens have a strong instinct that is almost impossible to override, and I got to thinking, why would I want to?

I have a huge demand for my organic eggs, absolutely adore having my chickens, and have the facilities to raise the chicks safely until they can live in with the rest of my chickens.  So, with a little research, and a couple of days of  collecting just the right eggs, we have placed the eggs under our wonderful broody hen.  But with that research, I have learned some very interesting things about heritage breeds.

First and foremost, heritage breeds are very hearty and intelligent breeds, just like my broody girl.  One of my new favorite sites is the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, and according to them: "The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy protects genetic diversity in livestock and poultry species through the conservation and promotion of endangered breeds. These rare breeds are part of our national heritage and represent a unique piece of the earth's bio-diversity. The loss of these breeds would impoverish agriculture and diminish the human spirit. We have inherited a rich variety of livestock breeds. For the sake of future generations we must work together to safeguard these treasures."

The site also has a great list of all heritage breeds, whether it be poultry, goats, sheep (which I have), cows or horses.  So if you are at all interested in raising livestock, look into heritage varieties, you won't be sorry.  It takes much less work as they tend to do part of the work for you.  And not only that, you will be keeping a part of our history alive!


lfhpueblo said...

Broody Girl.
Broody Girl
your bird brain head is in a whirl,
thinking of nothing but raising a family,
so much so you don't want to get off your nest even to take a bite of feed from me.
Brody Girl I'll help you out of your Zen like state,
start planning your will and the division of your estate.
You can have your little brood if you please,
because we are going to help preserve Heritage Chickens for prosperity.
Broody Girl you have a few well choosen eggs under your feathers,
let's watch you hatch out your new baby chicks together.
I'll help keep you all safe, warm and free,
because you are now going to be a special mama in this Royal Ranch family.
Chick Chick Te De.

Tiffany said...

wow, I totally expected to get a jab here. LOL!