Local publication asked me some questions about chickens

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Black Feather, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. Black Feather

    Black Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2007
    Hey guys,

    I was just sent a few questions by a local publication about purebred chickens. These are kind of loaded questions so I thought I would pose them to all of you for your feedback as well. After a few hours I will compile all the answers into my email back to the newspaper. They want to publish this info tomorrow so this is dealine sensitive.

    Here are the questions:

    Do you worry purebred breeds are declining?
    Would you say purebred poultry is healthier than commercial poultry?

    Urban Coyote
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I think the problem is largely that they seem to think that "purebred" is the (possibly-exclusive) opposite of "commercial". It might be a real good idea to compose a paragraph to send them that tries to clarify this issue, just in case they care about understanding the subject [​IMG] Something like the following (which could stand a deal of improvement, mind you):

    "The chicken lines used in modern commercial farming are bred for optimum performance under the specific, highly-controlled environmental conditions that are maintained on large poultry farms. There are many, many other kinds of chickens in the world (both heritage-breed purebred, and non-purebred "mutt" type chickens), some of which are a lot better at surviving in more challenging environments and some of which are more disease- and parasite-resistant than factory-farm chickens. Because there is such vast variation among heritage-breed chickens and among their mutt counterparts, it is very hard to generalize about what those types of chickens are like. In large part this diversity is their biggest asset when compared to the limited cookie-cutter selection of chickens used commercially (mainly of production white Leghorns for eggs and white Cornish Rock Cross broilers for meat)."

    The question of "do you worry purebred poultry is declining" (although honestly a lot of the commercial chickens are in many ways MORE purebred, in their own fashion, than a lot of APA type chickens [​IMG]) is idiotic and loaded, and you may as well answer it however you feel like according to whether you would like to grind that particular axe or not [​IMG]

    It would be fairer IMHO to say "do you worry that the diversity of chicken breeds is declining", which is still loaded (I mean, compared to what, compared to when?) but possibly easier to say Yes to without wincing.

    Of course I doubt they care about all this, they prolly just want a little seven-word quote to fill a space in the article that needs a little decoration [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

  3. Black Feather

    Black Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2007
    *lol* So true Pat.....such loaded questions.

    I forgot to add that I was also asked about my poultry club and "why we choose to raise purebred poultry."

    This is what I sent them for their article:

    "We are a group of people who have come together through a common interest in raising purebred poultry. We are not only farmers, but rural and sometimes urban community members as well. There are many many reasons our members choose purebred poultry over commercial breeds.

    Some people love the attractiveness of having a flock of chickens in the yard. Purebred poultry breeds come in a rainbow of different colors and patterns. Like solid colored chickens? They come in pure black, white, grey, mahogany red, buff, cream lavender etc. have a thing for stripes? Take a look at Barred Plymouth Rocks with their alternating black and white stripped feathers. How about spots? You’ll love Silver Spangled Hamburgs, or how about, Speckled Sussex or Spangled Old English game with black or white dots at the end of each feather. There are many other color patterns as well.

    Many people also choose to raise purebred poultry because they don’t believe in the inhumane treatment many commercial poultry have to endure in their short lifetimes. They raise their birds because they know where their meat and eggs are coming from and what feeds their birds are eating. There is also the satisfaction in growing and producing your own food, not to mention the educational opportunities for children to learn where their food comes from. Many swear that the eggs and meat from home raised birds has better flavor and is healthier for you as well. Not to mention you can’t get much fresher than having breakfast with an egg that was laid that morning.

    Quite a few of our members also show our chickens at local exhibitions and dedicated poultry shows. We raise birds based on the American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection. Each breed has characteristics that set them apart from other breeds in looks and production ability. We strive to raise birds that come as close as possible to the description in the Standard.

    Unfortunately with the decline of the family farm many of the purebred breeds of poultry from the past are regrettably declining as well. Clubs such as the NSPPA allow breeders to maintain networks with each other and allow new people interested in the hobby to acquire their own birds more easily.

    I personally find purebred poultry to be healthier and hardier than commercial strains of poultry. They live longer, are not as prone to temperature changes and tend to be tougher all round. They are a lot of fun to have around and many people when they first get chickens are surprised at how much personality their birds can have and how tame they can become. "

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