In clearing off my desk to prepare for the New Year, I found this attractive reproduction of a painting of chicks, signed A.O. Schilling, 1944. What a fabulous year 2008 was! For me, it was a year of challenges and accomplishments. Writing my second book, How to Raise Poultry, occupied me for most of the year. Is there a better way to spend my time?
SPPA was the recipient of a collection of over 150 antique poultry books. I have made a list of them and plan to make them available to SPPA members by copying excerpts and creating image files of the pages for members to use as they research their breeds. The illustrations and descriptions these old works contain provide original sources for the traditional breeds.
A new Dorking Breeders Club has formed, http://www.dorkingbreedersclub.com/, under the leadership of Jim Parker of Cridersville, Ohio. Dorkings haven't gotten the attention they deserve in recent years -- I haven't seen a single one at any of the shows I have attended here in California. Perhaps 2009 will see an increase in interest in this historic breed.
These Prize Dark Dorkings are from Harrison Weir's Our Poultry, published around 1902. A copy was included in the collection donated to SPPA.
2008 was a wonderful year for me and the SPPA and traditional breed poultry. Awareness is growing about our food systems and the importance of thoughtfully grown food and the role poultry play in our lives. I anticipate more progress in 2009. I'm eager to be part of it.