What's the definition of a new breed?


11 Years
Aug 31, 2008
I have a few/6 Buckeyes and I'm often thinking of how Nettie Metcalf was the first (only?) woman in America to make a new breed. I think they're so nice.

So what's really involved in making a new breed, i.e. "the proof" that one's done it and it wasn't just a few or a lot of crossing? If I had to guess, I'd guess that it might involve having a predictable or constant, recognizable product of the mating of successive generations, but what is it, really?
Thanks! While I was pulling weeds today, it crossed my mind that maybe that was how it becomes official or "happens". Like a light coming on, maybe. I guess I'll try to find out if they have a site that posts new breeds as they come to be recognized.
Well, but genetics guru, that's WHO gives recognition, but it doesn't entirely answer the question, as it WHAT actually constitutes a new breed, per se. I'm curious too? More info?
Recognition by the APA requires 5 breeders, breeding birds for 5 years, with 5 years of breeding records, and a total of 50 breeding birds that are breeding true. It also has to be recognized at and APA sanctioned show...

In other words, if 5 people get together and breed a pink chicken for 5 years and keep 5 years of breeding records, and at the end of the 5 years they have a total of 50 pink chickens among all of them and those birds are throwing true pink offspring, they can attend an APA sanctioned show with their pink chickens, submit an application and a $$$ fee, and get it added to the "standard" for recognition as an individual breed. (how's that for a run on sentence..LOL)
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Yeah but....

There are breeds out there that everyone KNOWS are breeds despite not being APA or ABA recognized. For instance, the Marans.
Beyond the simple thing about whether a major show governing body has approved something as a breed, anything is pretty much a breed if enough people call it a breed

Really, that is about all there is to it.

And by 'enough' I mean 'enough for YOU to consider it a breed, too'. There are certainly folks out there with their own personal lines o' chickens that they like to call a breed, and like to sell *priced* as if it were a rare breed <g>, but it is sort of up to you whether you think the term is warranted.

And there are also, at least with other livestock and I am *sure* it's true of chickens too although I couldn't name any examples, longstanding local landraces that are basically the equivalent of a breed even though they've traditionally just been regarded as 'oh, that's just the kind of <whatever> we HAVE around here".

I assume so, but I dunno. I was just pointing out from Tim's remark that not all "recognized" breeds are actually recognized by APA.
I'd be interested in finding a timeline of the introduction of American breeds into the APA or similar group because my inkling is that there haven't been many (any?) in the last 50 years. I'm very happy to have gotten the other half of the question answered because chickiebaby wanted to know, too. Quite interesting PouletsDeCajun! Seens every criteria is a factor of five somehow...which would make it kind of hard to be a maverick, to use a political expression loosely.

Maybe breeds "largely for esthetic value" are less likely to emerge than those that have the power to become the "Taco Bell" chickens (think Demolition Man) of the future in terms of production use - and anything that can't be sustained on a large, predictable basis (commercial?) isn't likely. ? Or maybe we do well just taking care of and improving or sustaining the legacy of breeds available to us and that's good-enough work. I'm so new it isn't much of an impact on either my interest or my plan. Just curious.

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