We take pleasure in caring for the health and happiness of our laying flock. In return, our fine feathered girls bestow rich eggs in abundance, comedic entertainment, and an element of completeness to the Ranch.
The current flock is comprised of Delaware, Blue Australorp, and Ameraucana.
What is a Heritage Chicken?
Since the arrival of Spanish explorers, different chicken breeds have been developed to provide meat and eggs. Many breeds were sidelined in preference for rapidly growing hybrids. The Livestock Conservancy Priority List includes over three-dozen endangered breeds in order to support their recovery and long-term conservation.
According to The Livestock Conservancy website, a Heritage Chicken must adhere to all the following:
- APA Standard Breed
From parent and grandparent stock of breeds recognized by the American Poultry Association (APA) prior to the mid-20th century; whose genetic line can be traced back multiple generations; and with traits that meet the APA Standard of Perfection guidelines for the breed.
- Naturally Mating
Must be reproduced and genetically maintained through natural mating.
- Long, productive outdoor lifespan
Have the genetic ability to live a long, vigorous life and thrive in the rigors of pasture-based, outdoor production systems.
- Slow growth rate
Must have a moderate to slow rate of growth, reaching appropriate market weight for the breed in no less than 16 weeks. This gives the chicken time to develop a strong skeletal structure and healthy organs prior to building muscle mass.