Originally Posted by AnthNDacula
I'm going to digress for a moment from the pure topic of "production-eggs-and-or meat", but I promise I'll bring it all back round in a minute. Prior to WWII chickens were integral to most human societies. Of course there were exceptions in extreme areas like the Inuit people in the Arctic, and isolated islands where chickens never arrived, etc. but for the most part Gallus gallus cleaned up our trash, ate our pests, and provided cheap little packages of protein to keep our children growing healthily. That all changed in the US and other developed nations after the war with the rise of suburbia and a desire to protect our homes' values by keeping "trashy chicken people" out of our subdivisions. The result was a culture void of chickens and chicken knowledge. That has radically changed in the last few years. People have become chicken crazy, and I love it. I live in a fairly affluent Atlanta suburb where chickens have been VERBOTEN until just a few months ago. Today people across America are fighting to get birds back in their yards, and my county now allows most people to keep three hens. But no one has any idea what to do with those hens. Every neighborhood used to have a chicken guy/gal where you could get answers to your questions and buy a few good laying hens. Where is he/she now? He/she is in this group. Knowledge is being shared and and chicken husbandry is returning to our neighborhoods. Dare I hope that subdivisions are becoming neighborhoods again? The people in this group are more than hobbyists... they are leaders in a social movement to bring back part of our heritage... a heritage grounded in sustainability and local community. That path to that leadership takes us thru learning all we can about producing better meat and egg chickens. I'm thrilled to be learning from you all.
Anthony, you have an optimistic view. That is commendable.
You have a pretty good sense of poultry evolution in modern times.
My view is not as optimistic as your own. It is optimistic, but not as optimistic. I see the vast majority of the new poultry interest rooted in baby boomers that are middle to upper middle class, and it has become more of a "My Pet Chicken" event. The group on this thread does not fit in with the majority.
Now I am not lumping everyone in the same group. There is a nicely represented variety of people represented in the new interest in keeping poultry. I am only saying that the "MY Pet Chicken" crowd is the largest group. This group is a here today, and gone tomorrow crowd. In other words, their interest will wane in time. It has become a fad. In America, we have the luxury of entertaining ourselves with what would be essential somewhere else.
And much of it amounts to nothing at all, but chatter.
Where I am optimistic, is the expectation that out of this boom of interest, there will be some that become genuine poultry men and women. Breeders of poultry that make actual contributions to the continuation of a poultry heritage in America. America has a rich history of poultry keeping and breeding. And I want to emphasize the second. Breeding.
Keepers are consumers. Breeders are contributors. I hope that some make actual contributions. I hope that I do. I have found my own unique niche, and I am making progress. We will see if my efforts amount to anything in time. Maybe they will, and maybe they will not.
Perhaps Bee's White Rocks will be a contribution. There are no pure utility strains that have good type and color. I would rather have respectable Rocks that performed than to win 1st place at the Nationals with a bird that did not. I am not knocking the second. There is room and a need for both. I am only remarking on my own preference.
There is an actual need for birds that represented their breed well and performed well. Where are these? There are none. Or, very few. This could be an actual contribution by some here. Bee is working with Rocks, and Bjnrob (sp?) is working with Javas. Angela is working with Wyandottes. They are all interested in having good birds that performed well. I am giving it a go with Catalanas, and I promise that they will perform reasonably well. I have a special interest in NHs, and am considering making them a big project.
I say all of this to say that we have plenty of keepers. What we need is actual breeders. The title of this thread is Breeding for . . . etc. Again, hopefully from this boom in interest, breeders (contributors) will come.
Edited by gjensen - 12/8/15 at 7:21am