Preservation of heritage poultry breeds is something that I'm passionate about. The space at the Garden Home Retreat affords me the luxury of finally being able to take an active part in this effort.
Heritage poultry includes original breeds and strains of domestic fowl that were developed and/or recognized in the late 19th or 20th centuries and are defined by a specific set of criteria.
- APA Standard Breed
- Naturally mating
- Long productive outdoor lifespan
- Slow growth rate
At the Garden Home Retreat I work with my friend and colleague Frank Reese at Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch to preserve genetics and make heritage poultry for cooking available to consumers. If something catastrophic happens to the birds on another farm, farmers can rebuild their flocks from my birds. We also send chickens and turkeys to Frank's ranch for processing and shipping out to grocery markets. These birds can only exist in numbers large enough to keep the breed healthy if Americans decide to purchase heritage breeds over industrially raised poultry. These breeds need to find work to prosper as a group, and the best way is to be an everyday part of our diets.
You too can help with the conservation of heritage poultry breeds, without turning your backyard into a barnyard. Investigate buying from local poultry farmers or consider joining one of these organizations: American Poultry Association, American Bantam Association, Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities, American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.
Join The Heritage Poultry Conservancy
The Heritage Poultry Conservancy is an organization dedicated to the preservation and support of all threatened breeds and strains of domestic poultry through the encouragement of education, stewardship, and good breeding practices. We are a 501(c)(3) and all donations are tax deductible.