Years ago the precarious position in which many livestock breeds find themselves came to our knowledge and touched our hearts. Without folks to raise them, they are in danger of becoming extinct. At Highland Glenn Ranch we are committed to doing all we can to conserve and promote our chosen breeds. All livestock breeds have been selected for their manageable size, grazing/foraging ability, temperament, compatibility with one another, easy keeping, hardiness, and ease on the land.
*.*.* Quality breeding stock is occasionally available. See the Sale Barn for a current list *.*.*
Through research, education, and the help of breeders and farmers like us, The Livestock Conservancy (formerly A.L.B.C.) is working to protect more than 150 historic breeds of livestock, poultry, and even rabbits. According to their Priority List, “Critical” means an estimated global population of less than 2,000; “Threatened” means less than 5,000; and “Watch” means less than 10,000. Many of the breeds are of American origin.
These are the heritage breeds we raise:
We no longer have American Milking Devon cattle, but are always happy to talk about our experience with them!
What is a Heritage Breed?
The term “Heritage Breed” is commonly heard nowadays. However, not too many years ago it was a rarity in itself. At first, we thought it was just some new fad aimed at homesteader-types. Come to find out, it’s about preserving history.
“Heritage” breeds are quite simply the older breeds that fell out of favor over the generations. These were the common breeds on small farms before the age of large, industrialized operations. Why in such peril, you may ask. The short answer to a question that usually winds up a lengthy discussion is… money. As livestock moved from being kept on pasture to confinement facilities, producers began selecting and breeding for qualities enabling stock to grow faster and larger in such environments.
However, what they lost in the process is health (known as hardiness), foraging skills, better feed conversion, docile temperament, intelligence, ease of breeding/birthing, nurturing instincts, and a more flavorful consumer end-product. Doesn’t seem to add up in our minds!
The tragic result has been the extinction and near-extinction of the foundation breeds once indispensable in the founding of this country. Yes, livestock can go extinct! Generally, species like wolves and owls or exotics like tigers and pandas are linked with extinction when in actuality all species must be protected. Conservation is more critical for some, however.
By focusing on these old heritage breeds, we’re helping save them from the brink of extinction. Even in our own small way. We invite you to join us and the growing band of small farmers and ranchers. Take on the stewardship of a heritage breed!
For more information, visit The Livestock Conservancy website today.