Your Spectacular Opportunity to Preserve Heritage Waterfowl

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9 Years
Apr 5, 2010
Viroqua, WI
An extrememly rare breed of heritage goose is on the brink of North American extinction. You have heard of the Tufted Roman goose...listed as "critically endangered" by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy? This is their "cousin" breed (possibly unrelated)...The Classic Roman Goose (previously/also known as the Non-tufted Roman, the Plain-head Roman, or the Roman (as its called in other parts of the world)). It is a 3000 year old breed with a prominent place in Roman/European history.

They are bright white with orange bill and legs and blue eyes, lightweight, diligent broodies and natural mothers, with a perfectly classy appearance.

Skillful weeders (they are in our pasture eating invasive comfrey as I type) and excellent guardians (as their Roman history reports). They have been selected for practical sized meaty carcass; they are especially suited to first-time farmers, homesteaders, and permaculturists.

These birds have been a "pet project" of Dave Holderreads for the last 15 years or so. Last year as he was letting go of a few of his various breeds of waterfowl so that he can focus on other projects in his life, he passed them on to me, a very enthusiastic waterfowl student.

I, however, have come to hard times financially and am making a cross-country move. I can no longer keep or ship these lovely, beloved, birds, and Dave can't take them back (due in large part to his strict quarantine regulation).

This is obviously an amazing opportunity for a waterfowl enthusiast and breeder, or even a teachable wanna-be breeder. I have learned much from Dave and in my own explorations this year and am available to work with you as you turn this project into your own.

This is the only known breeding flock of Classic Romans: 3 pairs and 1 trio of geese who would be best off kept by one person who could track their genetic histories and relations.

Alternatively, a financial benefactor who could joyfully contribute to this project would make it possible for me to continue with the birds and my focus on natural incubation and parenting and the promotion of permaculture, organics, and ethical, consciencious, and sustainable food sourcing. My project would need as much as $2000 for the next 12-18 months.

Are you interested in learning more about this opportunity?

Please contact me with questions:

[email protected]

Thank You,

Dana McGuire
I don't think they allow people on BYC to straight up ask for money. No offense. Someone would have to have a screw loose to pay $2K for someone else to care for birds that only cost a very small fraction of that to begin with (we all know how much they sold the Plain Headed Romans for). Why wouldn't someone just go out and buy some themselves? You might want to edit that out of your post.

If you are selling the birds, why not simply make a post and sell them in the sell section (yes, I know they are on the verge of extinction, LOL)? Have you asked the Holderread's for contact information for other people that also got some of the plain-headed Romans? You might go that route as well as you are certainly not the only person that purchased them (as day-olds or adults). Good luck to you with placing the birds! I'm sure someone will be interested. I remember part of the reason Holderread's cited as selling them was that they were so prolific.
What about these geese makes their maintenance so much more expensive than other geese? Your quote puts their maintenance costs at $111 - $166 per month, for nine geese. Or $12 - $18 per goose, per month. I'm currently maintaining a flock of 13 Americans (10 buff, 2 blue, 1 lavender ice) for about $1 per goose, per month, for comparison. Do they require more feed? Different housing accommodations?

Also in your other post on these geese earlier this year you alluded that there were other breeders but just none with as many in their flock as you have. But here you say this is now the only known flock, what happened to the other, smaller flocks?
Trust me, there are TONS of Plain-Headed Romans out there. People need to learn to separate the sale's pitch from reality. I personally *LOVE* the breed. They are an absolutely beautiful, smaller breed of Geese that are perfectly delightful. I almost bought some of those same birds. When Holderread's sold them, they were some of their least expensive Geese. They sold day-olds for $50 a pair and adults for the same range they sell most of their other adult Geese for (Americans etc..not the more expensive varieties like the Sebastopol's).

The main reason Holderread's cited for selling those Geese was that they were so prolific. I would bet they have sold day-olds and adults to literally dozens of people, at a minimum. Nobody's best interests in truly preserving rare breeds is served by outlandish stories and gross underestimates of numbers of birds being raised. Yes, the Plain-Headed Romans do need people to seriously work with them. No, there are not only three pair of them in the US. That is silly beyond belief.
Nothing wrong with selling some birds, but come on. This thing smells like a scam. If you have to move just sell your birds in the auction section.

Nobody's best interests in truly preserving rare breeds is served by outlandish stories and gross underestimates of numbers of birds being raised. Yes, the Plain-Headed Romans do need people to seriously work with them. No, there are not only three pair of them in the US.

Come on, people. Please don't be so critical.

You say the Romans are prolific. Do you know anyone who owns even one of them? I don't.
Dave sold very few of them at all.

I'm not asking for money. I mentioned that I could keep my project going for $2000 next year (I will have to fly the birds across the country and build night housing to protect them from predators in a non-electric community). There are philanthropic people out there and if it is kosher to raise money for any charitable cause then it is appropriate to offer people an opportunity to contribute to this one.

As I said, I'm not attached to doing it myself.

I paid over $1500 this year feeding 60 waterfowl...spent all the money I have...don't have housing for my family or income at this point.

Thanks, BYC, for the love and support.
You seem to believe that you know what you are talking about. However, in this case, you are mistaken.
Dave did not state that he was letting go of the Romans because they are prolific. Not on this continent. They have a 3000 year old history and *are* more common on other continents.

And if you know anyone with even just one Classic Roman Goose, please help me to connect with them. Of course they exist...though I think mostly his goslings must have gone out in gosling packages...I gather from Dave that almost no-one ever bought them from him.

Dave gave up on the project, folks. He can't be the hero for every breed forever. He had to let go of the Romans because they didn't sell.

I'm doing this advertising for the sake breed, and for D. Holderread who so lovingly invested his care in them for 15 years. I have not had anyone expreess interest in this opportunity. The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy says they don't offer any grants for conserving breeds. They have said they know of one person who might possibly be interested in taking on the project, but have yet to connect me to them.

Maybe you think I'm selling something?! I'm looking for a passionate waterfowl conservationist to *give* them to. If they don't find a home, I'll have to take most of them to the butcher...wouldn't *that* be a ridiculous shame?
Meet Rommy... some where in this forum I told the story of trying to teach him to fly. He's a wonderful gander I bought from Dave Holderread.


I met you down at Dave's place, Dana, one day when I came to pick up some waterfowl. I remember feeling so grateful that you kept my friend's little girl occupied while we spoke with Dave and Millie. I remember feeling a bit jealous too because you had this wonderful opportunity to work with him and take over some of his breeding stock. It's too bad you're letting them go so quickly.

Good luck in your endeavors.
I think 'the other dragon' is getting her population data from ALBC, frankly when it comes to poultry they don't know or want to know. They would send out a few surveys to the retail Hatcheries and report the results as being the entire stock. How do I know this, I used to live 10 miles from their headquarters in Pittsboro NC. When I got my first report of duck and geese numbers I was ROTFLMAO. I called and offered my service as a volenteer to contact the Show People (because they would produce birds that met the Standard) they did not want to spend the money for postage! I left in disgust. Roman Classics are reasonable prolific, and at least at that time Dave was charging almost twice as much for the classic vs. tufted. I cryed on the shoulder of a west coast buddy about how I couldn't afford them so he sent me a pair as a gift! 2 years later I had 10 counting the original pair. Now that is not prolific when compared to China geese and is about in line with my experience with Heavy breeds (all natural brooding I never owned an incubator)
Now back in the day, Dave's father had charge of the Standard breeds, freeing Dave to work on all the fancy colors that he introduced. When he died there were complaints of the quality of Standards going down hill. My small flock was disbursed when I had to move to a smaller place (No I won't tell you who got them.) I don't doubt that they weren't best sellers, why buy them when you could get the same thing with a cute little tuff on the head and the goslings are just so cute with it.
Good luck blissdragon I would hate to see the classic roman disappear, but I dont believe Dave put all his eggs in one basket.
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