Poultry Palaces

Portable Coups Give These Birds Plenty to Crow About

by P. Allen Smith

I've been a poultry enthusiast since I was 10 years old. In the summer of that year I proudly showed a white silkie hen at the Warren County Fair in Tennessee and was thrilled to take home a blue ribbon. Since then I have raised hundreds of domesticated fowl (chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese) and several flocks of swans. I'm continually fascinated by the amazing variety of their shapes, patterns, textures and colors and am amused by their quirky personalities. To me, they are the ideal type of livestock for homesteads of any size.

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What constitutes a heritage breed?

Heritage Chicken Definiton

by Frank Reese et al.
Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch Inc.

The purpose of marketing Heritage Chickens is to maintain, improve, and expand populations of high quality chickens for the production of meat and eggs that conform to the American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection for poultry breeds from genetic populations established prior to the mid-20th century. Chickens must meet all of the following criteria to be marketed as Heritage.

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We must never relent in our efforts to maintain a tenable position for the fancy.

And Never the Twain Shall Meet

by John M. Freeman
Reprinted from the 1975 APA Yearbook

Since its inception in 1873, the American Poultry Association has been dedicated to the to the development, improvement and promotion of standard-bred poultry of all categorizes. Without this guidance and promotion there is no telling what position in economic importance commercial poultry would occupy today, but it is a certainty that it would be decades behind its present prominence.

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Why are heritage breeds appropriate for pastured production?

Heritage Breeds for Pastured Production

by Frank Reese
Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch Inc.

All breeds are created to perform a specific purpose within a given production system. Poultry breeds can be divided based upon products – eggs, meat, or both. Productions systems include the form of culture to be used, such as intensive confinement or pastured production, as well as regional considerations, such as temperature extremes and rainfall. Heritage poultry breeds were developed to match regional challenges and production systems. Profitable production relies on matching breed abilities to the system of production to be used.

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HPC Asks the Experts: Danny Williamson

Danny Williamson is the owner of Windmill Ranch and runs the business side of Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch. He is a licensed American Poultry Association Judge, Grand Master Breeder of Black turkey, Grand Master Breeder of Dark Brahma chicken and Grand Master Breeder of White Call duck.

The Heritage Poultry Conservancy asked Danny a few questions about his experiences raising heritage poultry, the future of the industry and life as an APA licensed judge.

HPC: Danny, when did you first become interested in raising poultry?

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HPC Asks the Experts: Frank Reese

Frank Reese is a fourth generation poultry farmer who started raising and showing turkeys at the age of five. He currently owns and operates Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch in Tampa Kansas, the first turkey farm to be certified by the Animal Welfare Institute. Frank is a founding member of the All-American Turkey Growers' Association and a lifetime member of the National Poultry Association. He is the only licensed turkey judge for the American Poultry Association. (www.ReeseTurkeys.com)

The Heritage Poultry Conservancy talked turkeys with Frank and asked about his views regarding the history of heritage poultry and the future of the industry.

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