Wednesday, February 3, 2010

SPPA Breeders Directory

The Society for Preservation of Poultry Antiquities is preparing the next edition of its Breeders Directory. The Breeders Directory is the most significant document SPPA publishes. It list all members, what they are raising, and how to get in touch with them.

Because rare breed flock owners are as rare as the breeds themselves, it’s invaluable for finding people who know the historic breeds and have stock for others to add to their flocks. If you are raising traditional breed chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys or guineafowl, you should be listed in the Directory.

Breeds are the repository of genetic diversity in domestic animals such as poultry. Breeds breed true. A breed has a unique appearance, productivity and behavior.

Breeds are a package deal, not a collection of individual traits such as comb type and body conformation. We cannot know all the traits that comprise a breed. To lose one is to lose the entire genetic package. All chickens are the same species and share some genes, but others are unique to the breed. Ducks, geese, turkeys and guineas similarly share traits within their species but carry others that make them quite different, both from other domestic breeds and from breeds that remain wild.

Breed health depends on maintaining a viable population size in geographically separate flocks. Birds raised in different environments, under the supervision of breeders pursuing different breeding strategies, will insure a healthy, strong breed.

The information form for SPPA members will be included in the April issue of the SPPA Bulletin, the quarterly publication. SPPA vice president Mary Ann Hanley will compile the information from all the forms submitted. Forms need to be in her hands by June. The new directory will be available in September.

If you aren’t a member yet, join now, through or by sending a check for $15 to Dr. Charles Everett, 1057 Nick Watts Rd., Lugoff, SC 29078.

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