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Red Poll Cattle are listed as “Threatened” on the ALBC Conservation Priority List. This is the second tier priority classification defined as less than 1,000 annual registrations and an estimated global population of less than 5,000 animals. Red Poll was considered a dual-purpose beef and milk breed prior to the 1980s when they were reclassified to beef only. Cows produce a high butterfat milk in ample quantities for their calves. The Red Poll is a moderately-sized breed that grows well on pasture.
Red Wattle Hogs are listed as “Critical” on the ALBC Conservation Priority List. This is the highest priority classification defined by fewer than 200 annual registrations and an estimated global population of less than 2,000. Red Wattle pork is definitely not the other white meat; it has a deep red color with a rich, almost beefy flavor. This breed is well-suited to outdoor production systems either in wooded lots or pastures.
We have identified the St. Croix Hair Sheep breed for our farm. It is a naturally polled breed with a small frame, high meat-to-bone ratio, and a very mild taste. Since it is not a wool breed, there is no shearing required and there is no lanolin to “taint” the flavor of the meat. This breed is in the “Threatened” category of the ALBC Conservation Priority List. Our lamb is sold out until Fall 2013. Reserve your whole and half animals now!
ALBC’s 2000 census of domestic waterfowl in North America found only 128 breeding Appleyards. While five people reported breeding Appleyards, only one primary breeding flock with 50 or more breeding birds existed. (Bender, 4) There is a critical need for more conservation breeders of Appleyards. Their excellent laying ability, meaty carcasses, and lovely plumage make them a great addition to any small farmstead or backyard producer’s flock.
The highlight of our first year raising poultry was our flock of Bourbon Red turkeys. They are personable creatures and greeted us with much gobbling whenever we visited them in the field. Classified under “Watch” status by the ALBC, they are a dark colored breed that dresses cleanly for great presentation on the Thanskgiving table. While you may not think about Thanksgiving until early November, farmers order day old turkey poults from the hatchery between February and April. Heritage breed turkeys require nearly 6 months to mature. Be sure to reserve your turkey well in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday!