HOLD THE PRESSES: Duane Urch is Done?!/Future of American Purebred Poultry

Tbird84

Songster
9 Years
May 16, 2010
478
373
237
Arab, AL
Now you go to a show and try to talk to a lot of breeders and they don't want to waste time talking to a no body. They come off as a better then you attitude and snobbish. They act like their part of the school and school isn't taking on new pupils.
Its egos and attitudes there's no passion to pass the torch and get the next generation passionate. And the next generation don't seem to mind much.
Oh you nailed it here. I have run into this over and over. You aren't known in the circle so you couldn't possibly be a serious breeder. Just buy an outstanding bird and move on. That's the answer to trying to improve and learn with what you have. Not actual experience and tips from someone who has that knowledge. If you don't send dues to 30 different clubs you must not be serious and thus not worthy of their time. Is this relevant to the conversation? Maybe, maybe not. But I do see it as a facet of the problem.
 

allosaurusrock

Songster
Aug 31, 2015
869
650
206
Near Seattle, WA
I’m not sure that there should be too much focus on which breeds are ‘more important’ than others... every breed has history and every breed has a purpose, even if that purpose is just looking pretty and making nice pets. If a person likes a certain breed then they should breed that breed. It’s better than them breeding and preserving nothing at all.

What we need is to somehow attract more good, honest, young people into poultry breeding. I know I was originally just a backyard keeper but now I am breeding my seramas and have grand champion and reserve champion titles, and would like to do the more ‘important’ LF buff Wyandotte. I’m a ‘Gen Z’ kid as you would call it and frankly, there are just not enough young people into poultry. Not only are our breeds dying, but so are out breeders, and it’s very painful to see.
 

Frog Bog

Chirping
Oct 22, 2019
54
134
68
Joseph (Yellowhouse Farm) had some good writings on this subject some years back. They were worth the read multiple times over.

As far as a higher Focus on certain breeds, Yes, there should be. Many of our breeds/varieties can be made again if needed. The Foundational breeds cannot be brought back once lost. Spanish, Dorking, Leghorn, Hamburgs, possibly our American Dominique, and others, cannot be created again if lost. I feel a focus on our very old and important foundational breeds should be stronger than on a newer composite breed/variety.

Picking one breed and sticking with it is very good, common sense, advice. As I am preparing to get back into this game, I see how hard it is to stick to one breed. I want to save them all. I had leghorns for years, and a mixed personal flock for variety. This time around I would like to go leghorn again, but will go with something more rare and more of a dual purpose.

I'm only 1 person. I see a lot of effort out there to homogenize all of the breeds. If that effort were put into preserving our foundational stock these fowl might stand a chance.
 

Bullitt

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 16, 2012
2,380
426
251
Texas
Picking one breed and sticking with it is very good, common sense, advice. As I am preparing to get back into this game, I see how hard it is to stick to one breed. I want to save them all. I had leghorns for years, and a mixed personal flock for variety. This time around I would like to go leghorn again, but will go with something more rare and more of a dual purpose.
You make some good points about preserving foundational breeds. Some of the breeds you named were some that were discussed in the original post as being historically important. Breeds like Leghorn, Dorking, and Dominique were mentioned.

I like the Light Brown Leghorn. There are single comb and rose comb varieties.

A rare dual-purpose chicken breed that I think should be saved is the Java. The black and mottled varieties are recognized by the APA. The mottled is very attractive and the most popular, and some large hatcheries sell them. The white was once recognized by the APA and then dropped. I believe people were confusing it with the White Plymouth Rock. The Auburn Java is not recognized, but it was used to create the Rhode Island Red, I have read. The Java is said to be a very good dual-purpose breed that is good at foraging and is self-sustaining. You will not have to incubate eggs, if you do not want to.

As the person who wrote the article mentioned, if someone wants to breed a particular breed, then good for them. He is just trying to encourage people to focus on breeds that are considered historically important so that they can survive and be strong into the future.
 

Frog Bog

Chirping
Oct 22, 2019
54
134
68
I have been leaning toward Java's, Andalusian, or Spanish, though I'm not sure. I like productive fowl with good utility and I also want to market them. I don't want to make the trip to the auction with the extra birds. I want to be able to sell the meat at the markets or here on the farm. So something like the New Hampshire/Rocks/Dominique is appealing in that regard. It's hard to compete with the commercial meat birds in that demographic.

I think with proper marketing and education it can be done with the "Buy Local" stuff. It's not to make it rich, but more to help pay for feed and infrastructure. I like animals to pay their way here on the farm. Each has their job, including the kids and dogs.

With that said, the Java or Spanish could produce eggs and meat. Carcass might not look to nice, but I could make them into Boneless breasts and Sausage and sell it that way.

The issues I'm having is part of the problem with our fowl as well. It's costly to raise hundreds of birds. The family does get tired of eating chicken eventually. Property, infrastructure, Time, Feed, etc, is in short supply these days for the majority of poultry keepers. We also have a different mindset of what a productive fowl is and looks like.
 

Bullitt

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 16, 2012
2,380
426
251
Texas
I have been leaning toward Java's, Andalusian, or Spanish, though I'm not sure. I like productive fowl with good utility and I also want to market them. I don't want to make the trip to the auction with the extra birds. I want to be able to sell the meat at the markets or here on the farm. So something like the New Hampshire/Rocks/Dominique is appealing in that regard. It's hard to compete with the commercial meat birds in that demographic.

I think with proper marketing and education it can be done with the "Buy Local" stuff. It's not to make it rich, but more to help pay for feed and infrastructure. I like animals to pay their way here on the farm. Each has their job, including the kids and dogs.

With that said, the Java or Spanish could produce eggs and meat. Carcass might not look to nice, but I could make them into Boneless breasts and Sausage and sell it that way.

The issues I'm having is part of the problem with our fowl as well. It's costly to raise hundreds of birds. The family does get tired of eating chicken eventually. Property, infrastructure, Time, Feed, etc, is in short supply these days for the majority of poultry keepers. We also have a different mindset of what a productive fowl is and looks like.

I suppose it all comes down to how you will sell them -- as eggs, chicks, grown birds, or meat. There are many things to consider, I suppose.

I also like things to pay their own way. I am not sure you can apply that to children, though. I have not heard of very many people who have been successful with getting kids to pay their own way. :)

Why wouldn't the Java have a nice looking carcass?

I think the easiest way to sell is as eggs and chicks because it takes less feed than raising grown chickens. You can sell eggs for eating or fertilized eggs for hatching. You can also sell chicks. Then you can sell some of the adult birds that you do not eat and need to cull.

Dominiques are good at free-ranging, laying eggs, and reproducing themselves. The Dominique is a little on the small side to be a good meat chicken. I think Dominiques could be less expensive than larger breeds, especially if you allow them to free-range regularly. The Dominique will lay eggs much better than the Java also.
 

Frog Bog

Chirping
Oct 22, 2019
54
134
68
I suppose it all comes down to how you will sell them -- as eggs, chicks, grown birds, or meat. There are many things to consider, I suppose.

I also like things to pay their own way. I am not sure you can apply that to children, though. I have not heard of very many people who have been successful with getting kids to pay their own way. :)

Why wouldn't the Java have a nice looking carcass?

I think the easiest way to sell is as eggs and chicks because it takes less feed than raising grown chickens. You can sell eggs for eating or fertilized eggs for hatching. You can also sell chicks. Then you can sell some of the adult birds that you do not eat and need to cull.

Dominiques are good at free-ranging, laying eggs, and reproducing themselves. The Dominique is a little on the small side to be a good meat chicken. I think Dominiques could be less expensive than larger breeds, especially if you allow them to free-range regularly. The Dominique will lay eggs much better than the Java also.
I'm not into selling fertile eggs or chicks. Eggs for food and meat is where I will go. It falls in line with what we are doing on the farm. As far as the carcass goes, I'm looking at it from the standpoint of commercial birds. Dual purpose cannot compete with a cornishX; which is what most are used to seeing. Starting quality might not be that great as well. My market competition are raising cornish X and that's where I could provide something different while helping to improve our stock.

Kids are well... They do their chores with a few grumbles, but the love they provide is priceless.

If I were smart i'd just pasture cornishX, but there is more to life than money.
 
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