National Geographic article (July 2011) pgs 112 - 113

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Mark & Nique, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Mark & Nique

    Mark & Nique Chirping

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    Howdy all,

    I was curious to see if anyone else has read the above mentioned article about the loss of genetic diversity in our food sources, both plants and animal.

    There were two pages of uncommon breeds of chickens that are moving towards extinction because of our desire for fast meat and high egg production. Of the breeds listed, we have only one (Speckled Sussex).

    Has anyone else read the article and/or raised 'at risk' breeds of chickens? Thanks!

  2. linben

    linben Songster

    Apr 5, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I read the article and was pleased to see them address diversity in the food supply. I have Speckled Sussex too but none of the others. Of course now I want some of the others. It was a great article.
  3. Mark & Nique

    Mark & Nique Chirping

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    I was very unaware about how we've restricted species genetics. Overall, I got the sense that diversity in agriculture (including poultry) is important...almost the idea that we need to keep it 'wild' in order to insure strains that can adapt to future changes in climate and pests.

    One or two of the rare breeds were amazing! It made me wish I had buckets of money and acres of land to keep rare breeds.
  4. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Songster

    Dec 28, 2009
    Very interesting...Thanks for posting this. I had not seen the National Geographic, but I will pick one up today..Thanks again. I have the speckled sussex, I will have to look to see what else I have also.

  5. Stacykins

    Stacykins Crowing

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    I hadn't opened this month's National Geographic yet, but it was a nice read! Though I don't think the U.S. depends on the Rhode Island Red, more the leghorn or the ISA brown who are egg laying machines for the mass production of eggs.

    At least there are people here willing to preserve the rarer breeds of chicken. I have bought araucana stock from five different breeders, so hopefully I can continue to keep the breed alive once I have birds that meet the SOP.
  6. gootziecat

    gootziecat Songster

    Nov 27, 2007
    Hampshire Co, WV
    Can someone post the breeds listed? Or are there too many? Thanks.
  7. Sparklee

    Sparklee Songster

    Jul 28, 2008

    , I think they just chose a few off some list they found somewhere.

    Golden Sebright
    Silver Gray Dorking
    Speckled Sussex
    Light Sussex
    Pekin Bantam
    Black Silkie
    Hamburg Bantam
    Blue Partridge Brahma
    Derbyshire Redcap
    Blue Partridge Brahma

    The list is decidedly slanted toward British breeds (not that I mind, but a broader perspective might be helpful).

    Yes, they listed Blue Partridge Brahma twice, with a photo of the female the first time on the list and then a photo of the male the second time it's listed. What is the deal there?

    I really think those who inhabit this forum here at Backyard Chickens could do a better job with a list of heirloom chickens (which is the name of their list based on the URL they used).

    This is sort of how they introduced their list:

    A few high yielding breeds are supplanting less productive chickens. Some breeds are at risk of extinction ... about 30%. We as a world are losing valuable chicken traits like heat resistance and disease resistance because we're focusing on too few types of chickens.

    I suspect many of us could come up with breeds (okay, types or varieties, because we all know that chickens are just one breed if you want to get specific) like this that need conserving.

    Madagascar Games would be one. (possible progenitor of the Naked Neck)

  8. Sandy16

    Sandy16 Songster

    Jul 28, 2010
    If I understand their "list" correctly, the Orpingtons (they show a buff roo) are in danger? I thought those were pretty common. Maybe I'm spoiled because of BYC!
  9. Mark & Nique

    Mark & Nique Chirping

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    Quote:I saw the Orpington listed too, and while we don't have one, I was a little surprises after seeing how popular they are on BYC.

  10. Their list is highly flawed....I wonder where they got their breeds?

    Sure the blue partridge Brahma is rare...because it's a project breed here in the states...

    Orpingtons are everywhere and by no means nearing "extinction."

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