Landrace Fowl – backyard poultry

The Doug Oettinger story. Photos provided by Candice Lilick of Breezy Bird Farms.

When working with poultry or other farm animals, the conditions
It often shows “breed of the breed, land breed, or animal of the breed.”
Just what is a land animal? Quite simply, poultry (or other farm
animals) are distinct species or lineages of animals that evolved in A
A geographical area defined through natural breeding or natural selection
over many years. While there is no magic timeline set for a file

An Earth Race to obtain such a status, it usually takes at least several decades of natural selection for such races to evolve, and in many cases, an Earth Race may have evolved over several hundred years in an area.

Breeding without interference

Landrace poultry breeds differ from traditional breeds in that they have been allowed to breed naturally with little intervention from humans to select for certain traits or appearance. The genetic material of these breeds or groups became diffused throughout the flocks of geographical areas and small villages, as farm families bartered, sold and exchanged poultry with one another.

On the other hand, a breed of poultry or livestock evolved from A
A multigenerational period of selective selections of parental stock to meet a particular appearance or acquire certain traits, and to meet the criteria that humans possess
Determine how they think the particular strain should look or perform. while
Selective breeding of individual traits is certainly not a bad thing, the unfortunate reality still exists when breeding according to a certain standard
Or see, the genetic pool is often narrowed down, many of which are intrinsic,
Valuable and hidden traits can be elicited and lost.

Swedish cock hen flower.

Because they evolved through reproduction and natural selection, and have survived minimal human intervention in the process for several generations, wild birds usually retain traits of natural brooding and motherhood. These breeds of poultry have also evolved in response to local climatic conditions and weather extremes, including extreme heat, extreme cold, rain, snow, or even abnormally dry conditions.

Native breeds often evolved with minimal shelter and are adequate forage, as their metabolisms have adapted to the local food sources they feed on on their own. This does not mean that they were constantly left unattended in a wild condition or that humans did not do some selective breeding. In most cases, birds in colder climates foraged on grain and other foods during the winter and times when they could not easily forage.

In general, these herds usually had to live and feed on them
their own, at least during the summer months when they have natural forage
available. The herd’s natural mating and reproduction, including incubation and
Brooding, was the norm. The shelter for these birds often varies, depending on the location
Local climates and seasons, many breeds have learned to survive and evade
Predators while foraging and roosting outdoors.

Swedish Flower Hen (Yes, the breed’s name is “Swedish Flower Hen”.)

Landrace poultry breeds

Landrace chickens include groups or “breeds” such as Icelandic chickens, Swedish flower chickens, and Swedish Hedemoras, all from the cooler regions of Scandinavia. Birds such as the Egyptian Fayoum have a long and well-established history, going back several thousand years, in the hot and dry climate of the Nile villages in Egypt. The nation of Hungary has seven landraces that it considers national treasures, including the Transylvanian Bare-necked Chicken and the Hungarian Yellow Chicken.

Strains such as the Sumatran were originally brought to the United States in the 1840s from the warm tropical environment of Sumatra and the Sondo Islands in western Indonesia. Araucana chickens, in their native Chile, were an established group upon their arrival in the United States in the 1930s.

Another hardy breed that has made its way to the United States and Canada in the past 50 years is the Hmong Fowl from the tropical high mountain regions of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Other non-domesticated birds include: Danish geese from Denmark; Scania geese from Sweden; Bavarian geese from Bayern, or Bavaria, Germany; danish ducks; and the original breeds of chocolate turkeys from the southern United States.

Icelandic chicken.
Hedemora’s cockerel is small, white, with woolly plumage.
This Swedish Svart Huna bird looks similar to the Ayam Simani.
Hedemora Milanese blue-skinned bullet.

Born for toughness

Hardy Landrace bird. Many strains survive by developing varying levels of immunity against local bacterial or viral threats that would otherwise be troublesome to non-native strains. They are also known often not only
They are harsh in their geographic climate, but few can easily adapt to extreme weather conditions different from those in their native habitat.

One notable example of this is the Hmong chicken. Poultry breeder Candice Lillick, based in Manitoba, Canada, began breeding these birds several years ago and has found them adaptable and hardy in the harsh winter weather of the Canadian prairie.

In some cases, groups of birds such as geese and ducks may have a very homogeneous appearance, with little external diversity. However, in the case of chickens, several (but not all) breeds of breeds from the same region may show a great deal of diversity in plumage patterns, plumage colours, leg or shank colours, and comb types.

During my visit with Candice Lalique, I learned that one of her biggest concerns in breeding smaller populations of wild birds is making sure her breeding project is broad enough—and planned well enough—to preserve a wide range of valuable genetic material within the breeds she maintains and perpetuates. It is all too easy to lose valuable genetic components that are unique to the landrace population when breeding limited numbers of individuals, even where herd mating systems are used.

This is one of the problems faced by groups of poultry keepers who become interested in a particular type of wild bird. Excitement grows. Sooner or later, a breed club is created. And in the normal course of human events, a select group of individuals form a committee that decides what the race should look like. Selected traits are abruptly chosen and delegated as the ‘ideal’ standard, and eventually any other traits are elicited and lost. Often, these may include hidden genetic components such as hardiness, disease resistance, disease immunity, ability to forage, and the ability to metabolize natural forage, as well as the hens’ propensities for brooding and natural motherhood. Many unique and essential external features from these birds are often lost in the same process.

Landrace birds have many unique advantages, as well as beautiful arrays of genetic diversity not always found in more established true breeds. if
Nothing else, keeping some unusual birds for your flock will likely make you the envy of all your poultry farming friends!

Doug Oettinger He lives, works, and writes from his small hobby farm
Northwest Minnesota. Doug’s educational background is in agriculture with an emphasis in poultry and avian science.

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