Breeds needing preservation - how rare

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by My Little Sister's Farm, May 14, 2009.

  1. My Little Sister's Farm

    My Little Sister's Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2008
    Forest Grove, Oregon
    Probably a stupid question but...

    How rare is a breed of bird, (you know, the ones on the preservation list as threatened, critical, etc.) if McMurray or Ideal is selling them?

    I've heard great things about their rare bird selection, but you'd think with their intense breeding these breeds they have on there wouldn't be rare and in danger anymore.
  2. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    I have often wondered that myself. I don't think the people that count the rare breeds count the hatcheries or the hatcheries don't provide the information. We are members of the ALBC and get "census" forms from them for our rare birds. If the hatcheries aren't members or don't respond they aren't counted. Plus the hatcheries are very very very closed mouthed about where they get their hatching eggs from and how they do that business.

    Steve in NC
  3. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    I'm going to say something that may make people upset, but it's my opinion.

    Unless you are breeding to a set standard for that breed by selecting for type, color, and other defining traits, then you are not doing anything to help preserve a breed.

    You can buy a bunch of "purebred" chickens and let them roam your yard or stay in a pen and breed. After awhile you'll start to lose vigor, health, size, off colors, etc... They become a genetic mess rather than the breed they are supposed to be.

    Let me tell ya, if you ever once attended an APA sanctioned poultry show you will never again order from a commercial hatchery or buy up feed store chicks if you're serious about preserving a breed. There is that much of a difference.

    That aside, there are hatcheries that do preserve breeds like Urch/Turnland, Sandhill Preservation, and other family owned places.

    You need to do your research, even when buying from an individual. Ask where they got their original stock. Ask how long they've been breeding that particular line. Ask for photos of their breeding stock, and then get a second opininon. Ask around to check validity of the information they give you. There's too much dishonesty, too many folks being taken advantage of because they don't do the research.
  4. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

    Jan 4, 2009
    Claremore, OK
    Quote:Thank you Cuban! I was just about to write something along those same lines myself.
  5. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    Northern California
    Hatchery birds are usually far from quality and are often times mutts. If you're not breeding toward the Standard you're not preserving anything. Plus, they may sell them as purebred, but they usually cross them with something else to increase egg production.
  6. farmerlor

    farmerlor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yeah, I saw that Midget Whites were rare and determined after reading about them that I wanted to have some. I saw that MacMurray had them and was going to go ahead and buy from them as I've done a lot of business with MM over the years for my egg layers. Then I found that the hatchery birds were most likely mutts bred from a mixture of white birds and then slapped with a Midget White stamp. I figured that probably wasn't going to help with preserving the breed much and decided to go with a breeder.
  7. cariboujaguar

    cariboujaguar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2009
    Quote:I need to attend a show or two, I just can't understand the difference. I looked on the Marans breed standard and most of my 5 hatchery hens are pretty close to the standard, some seem to be right on... I hate to say this, as i'm meticulous about breeding my goats, but they all look the same to me and it ticks me off LOL I want to learn how to have a criticle eye!
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  8. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

    Jan 4, 2009
    Claremore, OK
    Example in Point:

    Used from gooseandduckfarm's website:
    Let's assume this is the typical hatchery or production type Barred Plymouth Rock male:

    I do hope Jade (Cuban Longtails) won't mind...but since it IS for education:

    And this is a Barred Plymouth Rock male from exhibition lines:

    There should be a notable difference in the three.

    Edited to add credits and alternate photo since I do not have permission from gooseandducksfarm to use their photo, which is still an excellent example.
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  9. 19hhbelgian

    19hhbelgian Pigs DO Fly!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    New Tripoli PA
    Quote:I fully agree about the specific breeding for preservation. Unless you are watching your lines, and breeding for the best, you aren't doing any favors for that breed. Nobody should get upset about you speaking your opinion... If they don't like it, yeah well. Nobody's forcing them to read it more than once [​IMG]
  10. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Quote:Thank you Cuban! I was just about to write something along those same lines myself.

    I agree too.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by