It feels like Spring here on the farm. Cooler temps and new life everywhere. We should have new lambs in the next few weeks and we just hatched two baby turkeys in the incubator.
After reading about the Slow Food Movement and Heritage Breeds I knew I wanted to have these special animals on our farm. Here are a few links for further reading, but basically these are hardy animals that are nearing extinction. http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/heritage/ http://www.slowfoodusa.org/index.php/programs/ark_product_detail/bourbon_red/
Why? Because over time certain breeds that produced the most were chosen by farmers and now the others are suffering. For example, when you imagine a pig or a cow you probably imagine the common pink pig or black & white Holstein cow. What about chickens? White chickens & white eggs come to mind? Yes, these are the common breeds represented in the United States but these animals are also usually in large farms where they can't graze freely or have as humane living quarters. Did you know the 'Butterball Turkey' has to have it's eggs fertilized by humans (in a round about way) because they are too broad breasted & fat to perform the duty as nature intended.
One of the animals I wanted to hear out my kitchen window was the Gobble! Gobble! of a turkey and we had our heart set on the Bourbon Red Turkey. We were thrilled to find a listing on our local Craigslist for a hen & tom! We snatched them up and chose to incubate the eggs for definete results. Just this week the two babies were born. The boys named them Love & BlueBerry. I secretly call them Easter & Dinner. I know that sounds awful but I want to know where my food comes from and know that it enjoyed a good life and ate good food.
There are so many beautiful Heritage Breeds that are a joy to keep with docile personalities, hardy to your climate & charming coloring. I have several still on my Must Have list. Right now I'm begging my hubby to get me a Hereford Hog.