Tuesday, March 3, 2009

SPPA Critical Lists

The SPPA Critical Lists of Chickens, Waterfowl and Turkeys are now posted on the SPPA page on my site at http://poultryb.dot5hosting.com/sppapage.html.
The Critical Lists are updated every year or so, often in conjunction with the submissions for the Breeders Directory. Because there is no formal registry for poultry, the way there are for horses, cattle and other livestock, it's trickier to get a grip on what breeds are out there and in what numbers. To some extent, it's an educated guess.

That's one of the strengths of organizations such as SPPA. It's a way to bring together the breeders and others who are involved, to share their knowledge of what's going on in the general population.

Foundation and original breeds such as the Java and Dorking among chickens, the Rouen among ducks and the Pomeranian among geese are of most concern. If they disappear, their genetic heritage cannot be recaptured. Composite breeds that have become rare such as the Lamona, Chantecler and Buckeye need attention because although they could theoretically be re-created, they would inevitably lack the original line. In the most recent update, in 2008, several color varieties of breeds were added, to focus on varieties that are declining in breeds that may otherwise be doing well.

These Rouen Ducks show their ancestry to wild Mallard Ducks in their traditional plumage. The photo is from Green Earth Farm in Richmond, Illinois, http://www.greenearthfarm.org/.

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