Chicken Little

At Quicksilver Farm, we have gotten Americauna Chickens. Though we usually go for the rarest breeds we can find, we wanted the Easter-like pastel eggs of the Aracauna, but could not deal with the genetic fault they have which causes ¼ of them to die. So we opted for the American-bred ones which have been crossed with other chickens to lose that genetic defect. These chickens are still unusual, but not on the ALBC Conservation Priority List. To be on that list, the poultry must generally conform to certain genetic and numerical parameters.
1. The breed is from one of the four traditional U.S. poultry species (chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys).
2. A bantam breed may be listed if there is no large fowl counterpart.
3. The breed census satisfies numerical guidelines:
• Critical: Fewer than 500 breeding birds in the United States, with five or fewer primary breeding flocks (50 birds or more), and globally endangered.
• Threatened: Fewer than 1,000 breeding birds in the United States, with seven orfewer primary breeding flocks, and globally endangered.
• Watch: Fewer than 5,000 breeding birds in the United States, with ten or fewer primary breeding flocks, and globally endangered. Also included are breeds with genetic or numerical concerns or limited geographic distribution.
• Recovering: Breeds that were once listed in another category and have exceeded Watch category numbers but are still in need of monitoring.
• Study: Breeds that are of interest but either lack definition or lack genetic or historical documentation.
4. The breed is a true genetic breed (when mated together, it reproduces the breed type.)
5. The breed has had an established and continuously breeding population in North America since 1925. Or, if imported or developed since 1925,
• The foundation stock is no longer available.
• Must meet numeric guidelines for inclusion.
• Must have at least five breeders in different locations in the United States.
• The global population is threatened and the United States population is making a contribution to conservation of the breed.
We strongly support the aims of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, and have been members for years. Most of our animal breeds are from their lists. For more information about the organization, visit them at www.albc-usa.org.

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