What is a heritage breed

PandaGirl

Chirping
Jan 27, 2021
71
47
53
Hi there,
I have a flock of Orpingtons. I liked them because they were heritage breed, and were not just breed over and over with other chickens. I just found out that actually they are just breed a long time ago. This is fine but then I got curious. I saw that hatchery breeds are not really heritage breeds. Does this mean that I do not really have Orpingtons because I got them from Murry McMurry Hatchery? I also read the breeders birds ( or heritage breeds) are much bigger. Why is this? Thanks!
 

MamaSug

🦋
Premium Feather Member
Aug 26, 2020
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IA Loess Hills
Best definition I’ve found from modernfarmer.com*: “Heritage-breed chickens are defined by The Livestock Conservancy as breeds with four characteristics: they were recognized as an American Poultry Association Standard Breed prior to the mid-20th century, they are naturally mating, they can live a long and productive life outdoors and they have a slow growth rate”
 

MamaSug

🦋
Premium Feather Member
Aug 26, 2020
746
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IA Loess Hills
Hatchery’s choose their best laying birds for breeding so that they can hatch and sell more eggs/chicks and heritage breeders choose their best looking birds that are closest to the SOP for breeding so they can continue on improving the breed. I’m not sure about the 1800’s question though as I was not there.
 

swampfox440

Transcending !
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Dec 10, 2012
9,074
85,511
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Heritage birds should be purchased from a heritage breeder. It takes a long time to get them to APAS standard of perfection. Check out Jim Atkins on youtube also farmer George Wipple does one with the livestock conservatory. How to breed a better chicken.
 

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