Breed Profile: Ameraucana

Unusual and interesting history.

by Michael Schlumbohm and Keith Bramwell

The Ameraucana is a lighter weight white-skinned breed known for laying green shelled eggs. The true Ameraucana is recognized in eight established varieties; these include Black, Blue, Blue Wheaten, Brown Red, Buff, Silver, Wheaten, and White all of which were recognized in 1984. True Ameraucanas also must have a full beard and muffs, a pea comb, have either slate or black shanks with white bottoms of the feet, and they must lay a green or blue shelled egg.

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Breed Profile: Andalusian

Gorgeous slate blue with each feather laced in blue-black.

by Michael Schlumbohm and Keith Bramwell

The Andalusian is a non-sitting egg laying breed that lays a white egg and has white skin. It is only recognized in Blue and it was admitted to the American Poultry Associations (APA) Standard of Perfection in 1874.

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Breed Profile: Appenzeller Spitzhauben

A great foraging breed.

by Michael Schlumbohm and Keith Bramwell

The Appenzeller Spitzhauben is a relatively small European breed developed for egg production. Commonly known simply as Spitzhaubens, this breed lays a white shelled egg and has white skin. This breed has just recently begun to have a more serious interest in their breeding and preservation.

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Breed Profile: Aylesbury Duck

Very rare and in need of more supporters.

by Michael Schlumbohm and Keith Bramwell

This breed is unique because the skin and bill are white as opposed to most other breeds of duck which have yellow skin and bills. They are only found with white feathers and lay eggs with white to tinted greenish white shells.

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Breed Profile: Brahma

Very cold hardy.

by Michael Schlumbohm and Keith Bramwell

From reports in some of the earliest literature, this breed holds the record for the second largest standard weights with mature birds as large as 18 pounds.

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Breed Profile: Cochin

Started the "Cochin craze."

by Michael Schlumbohm and Keith Bramwell

Small fortunes were spent on purchasing Cochins and the breed spread far and wide. Reasons for this popularity include its novel appearance and massive size and hardiness.

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Breed Profile: Delaware

Excellent "broiler" breed.

by Michael Schlumbohm and Keith Bramwell

The Delaware is a dual purpose breed that was once used in the commercial broiler industry in the Delmarva area. This breed lays a brown shelled egg and has yellow skin and red ear lobes and a single comb.

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Breed Profile: Dominique

An old American dual purpose breed.

by Michael Schlumbohm and Keith Bramwell

The Dominique has a form of barring that is known as Cuckoo. The main difference between Cuckoo and Barred is that the black and white bars on the feathers of the cuckoo pattern are not as clearly defined and crisp as they are on typical barred varieties.

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Breed Profile: Dorking

Highly esteemed for the quality of its meat.

by Michael Schlumbohm and Keith Bramwell

The Dorking takes its name from the town of Dorking, in Surrey England, where it was developed as a table fowl for the London market.

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Breed Profile: Hamburg

One of the first improved egg breeds to be used in America.

by Michael Schlumbohm and Keith Bramwell

The Hamburg is generally a non-sitting chicken that was originally bred for enhanced egg production. The American Poultry Association (APA) recognizes six varieties of Hamburgs, they include the Black, Golden Penciled, Golden Spangled, Silver Penciled, Silver Spangled, and White.

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Breed Profile: Jersey Giant

Everything about the Jersey Giant is large and imposing.

by Michael Schlumbohm and Keith Bramwell

As the name implies, Jersey Giants are very large birds. In fact, they possess the largest weights of any recognized breed of chicken.

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Breed Profile: Orpington

Introduced in 1886 in Orpington, Kent U.K.

by Michael Schlumbohm and Keith Bramwell

The Orpingtons are a large breed and being loose feathered gives them an even greater massive appearance. The American Poultry Association's (APA) Standard of Perfection recognizes them in Buff, Black, Blue, and White.

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Breed Profile: Spanish

Striking combination of white, red and coal black.

by Michael Schlumbohm and Keith Bramwell

The Spanish, is oddly enough not believed to have originated in Spain. The breed is actually believed to have been developed in Holland, in the 18th century, or earlier, from the old Castilian breed, which came from Spain.

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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.
www.ReeseTurkeys.com

Purpose
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.
www.ReeseTurkeys.com

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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