Welsh Harlequin Duck

Heritage Homestead

Heritage seeds are not the only thing we like raising. We are also passionate about preserving heritage critters too.  Flora is not the only thing endangered by big ag,  fauna is, too.

“According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), at least 1,500 of the world’s estimated 6,000 livestock breeds are in imminent danger of extinction. The organization further asserts that the world is currently losing an average of two domestic animal breeds each week and that half of the breeds that existed in Europe in 1900 are already extinct” – Hobby Farms

There’s a new movement afoot to save the heritage breeds and for those who aren’t vegetarians (like we are) you might be interested to learn how these folks plan on saving them.    By creating a demand and connecting “ecology with gastronomy” they hope that heritage breeds will bump off their highly specialized breeds.

Heritage breeds are a better choice than conventional breeds for backyard and small holding homesteaders.   When folks inquire our flocks, not only do we show them we share their heritage breeding history.  To me, it gives one a sense of history and connection to the past.

What is a Heritage Breed?

The Livestock Conservancy defines Heritage animals as “traditional livestock breeds that were raised by our forefathers.”

“These are the breeds of a bygone era, before industrial agriculture became  a mainstream practice. These breeds were carefully selected and bred over time to develop traits that made them well-adapted to the local environment and they thrived under farming practices and cultural conditions that are  very different from those found in modern agriculture.

Traditional, historic breeds retain essential attributes for survival and self-sufficiency – fertility, foraging ability, longevity, maternal instincts, ability to mate naturally, and resistance to diseases and parasites.

Heritage animals once roamed the pastures of America’s pastoral landscape, but today these breeds are in danger of extinction. Modern agriculture has changed, causing many of these breeds to fall out of favor. Heritage breeds store a wealth of genetic resources that are important for our future and the future of our agricultural food system.”

If you planning on bringing in animals to your homestead or expanding your flock or livestock, learn what breeds are on the endangered list and visit The Livestock Conservancy

What heritage breeds are you preserving on your homestead and why?



  1. Nebraska Dave says:

    Anais, thanks for encouraging folks to look to their ancestors for heritage livestock to fill out their barnyards. So many today want the fast growing selectively cross bred animals to maximize profits. It’s refreshing to see your family’s example to promote the heritage breeds that are becoming quickly extinct. I’m hoping to see more animal and gardening posts during the coming year.

    Have a great Californian day. It’s a -14 degree day here in Nebraska. That’s not unusual but thankfully not too common either.

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