Thursday, February 18, 2010

Farm Fresh Eggs

Farm Fresh Eggs from Heritage Breed Chickens
In stock more about the eggs

Why buy eggs from a Heritage Breed?
Better Eggs - quality, not quantity
Farm Fresh and produced locally
Supports breeds that would otherwise might become extinct.

A few examples of Heritage Breed Chickens that we will receive eggs from....
Plymouth Rock Barred

Standard Weights: Cock-9-1/2 pounds; hen-7-1/2 pounds; cockerel-8 pounds; pullet-6 pounds.

Skin Color: Yellow.
Egg Shell Color: Brown.
Use: Meat and eggs.
Origin: Developed in America in the middle of the 19th century and was first exhibited as a breed in 1869. Several individuals claimed its invention, using crosses of Dominique, Java, Cochin, and perhaps Malay and Dorking. The first Plymouth Rock was barred and other varieties developed later. The Breed became popular very rapidly, and in fact, until World War II, no breed was ever kept and bred as extensively as the Barred Plymouth Rock. Its popularity came from its qualities as an outstanding farm chicken: hardiness, docility, broodiness, and excellent production of both eggs and meat. Most of the other varieties were developed from crosses containing some of the same ancestral background as the barred variety. Early in its development, the name Plymouth Rock implied a barred bird, but as more varieties were developed, it became the designation for the breed. The Barred Plymouth Rock was one of the foundation breeds for the broiler industry in the 1920's, and the White Rock continues to be used as the female side of the commercial broiler cross.

Characteristics: Plymouth Rocks are a good general farm chicken. They are docile; normally will show broodiness; possess a long, broad back; a moderately deep, full breast and a single comb of moderate size. Some strains are good layers while others are bred principally for meat. They usually make good mothers. Their feathers are fairly loosely held but not so long as to easily tangle. Generally, Plymouth Rocks are not extremely aggressive, and tame quite easily. Some males and hens are big and active enough to be quite a problem if they become aggressive. Breeders should be aware of the standard weights and not select small or narrow birds for the breeding pen. Common faults include shallow breast, high tails, narrow bodies and small size.

Status: Watch. The Barred Plymouth Rock is still a popular farm chicken but, as a dual-purpose bird, is still far less common than its more specialized White Rock cousin. - ALBC

Ameraucana Heritage Breed Chicken
The terms for this breed Araucana, Ameraucana, "Easter Egg Chicken" - have been used interchangeably - though there are differences in the Araucana and Ameraucana breeds. The Araucana breed is usually rumpless, as well as differences in the cheek muffs and "wings" at the ears. The Ameraucana breed started with the chickens from South America and were crossbred to ther chickens. The blue and green colored eggs carried through.
Our Ameraucana chickens occasionally produce rumpless offspring (we have a Delaware/Ameracauna cross that is rumpless). Our Ameraucanas do lay both blue and green eggs.

Previous Info form Heirloom Heritage Farms

Following info from Amercian Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC)
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect over 150 breeds of livestock and poultry from extinction. Included are asses, cattle, goats, horses, sheep, pigs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys.

Founded in 1977, the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy is the pioneer organization in the U.S. working to conserve historic breeds and genetic diversity in livestock. We hope you'll browse through these pages and learn more about the diverse and valuable agricultural heritage that is ours to enjoy and to steward.

What is a Heritage Chicken?
Over the past several years, ALBC has developed a conceptual framework for conservation: Discover - Secure - Maintain. Breeds and populations must be discovered. This includes finding them and confirming their status as a breed. Once discovered, the population and/or breed needs to be secured. This can take many forms from rescue to general support, from the development of specific breeding strategies to cryopreservation. Many breeds will move in and out of this phase. Maintaining the breed is about ensuring the viability of the genetic resources for the long-term. At this state, getting breeds back into the marketplace is critical and if this stage is successful the breed has the potential to grow numerically and find lasting viability in the marketplace.

Defining Heritage is a maintenance strategy. The value of the definition for farmers is that it safeguards the integrity of the breed as expressed by its genetics. Therefore, farmers and consumers can share a common understanding of a product that is derived from a defined Heritage breed.

Definition of Heritage Chicken
Chickens have been a part of the American diet since the arrival of the Spanish explorers. Since that time, different breeds have been developed to provide meat, eggs, and pleasure.

The American Poultry Association began defining breeds in 1873 and publishing the definitions in the Standard of Perfection. These Standard breeds were well adapted to outdoor production in various climatic regions. They were hearty, long-lived, and reproductively vital birds that provided an important source of protein to the growing population of the country until the mid-20th century. With the industrialization of chickens many breeds were sidelined in preference for a few rapidly growing hybrids. The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy now lists over three-dozen breeds of chickens in danger of extinction. Extinction of a breed would mean the irrevocable loss of the genetic resources and options it embodies.

Therefore, to draw attention to these endangered breeds, to support their long-term conservation, to support efforts to recover these breeds to historic levels of productivity, and to re-introduce these culinary and cultural treasures to the marketplace, the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy is defining Heritage Chicken. Chickens must meet all of the following criteria to be marketed as Heritage.

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