The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy Heritage has officially defined “heritage chicken.” Find out what a heritage chicken is, learn more about the certification process, and hear — firsthand — what an expert on heritage chickens has to say about pastured poultry and breed selection.
Cotton Patch geese were historically cheap labor for keeping cotton fields clean. They have been used to weed other crops, such as corn and strawberries, too. After making numerous contacts and traveling more than 10,000 miles, Tom Walker found a few gaggles that were fairly representative of the breed. He has carefully selected and maintained these historic weeder geese, saving them from the brink of extinction.
Choosing from among various heritage breeds can be tough, but finding a breeder can be even tougher. The Society for Preservation of Poultry Antiquities’ Breeders Directory is a resource to make finding reputable chicken breeders easier.
We know why we love heritage breed livestock, but why do you?
Cornish cross and heritage chickens are two types of chickens often used for meat. There’s considerable debate about which tastes better, which is easier to raise and which is more “ethical.”
Heritage breed chickens are more nutritious and flavorful than store-bought chicken, but require different cooking techniques. Learn different methods of cooking different age and different breeds of chickens.
An enthusiastic family helps a rare breed of chickens settle into their new home, thanks to MOTHER EARTH NEWS and American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.
Fifteen family farms and over 50 restaurants have committed to participation in No Goat Left Behind, a new program developed by Heritage Foods USA.
With the increase in small-scale farming activities, people are looking not only at backyard poultry but also into raising backyard livestock. This post is about Mary Jane Phifer’s experience with Irish Dexter cattle, a small-sized dual-purpose.
This Thanksgiving consider opting for a pastured turkey instead of a commercially raised bird, and think about buying local Thanksgiving foods, too.
Michigan invasive species order takes aim at heritage and Old World hogs.
Heritage breeds are survivors, although some may be in for a very challenging year. The national drought is about to have a huge impact on the American economy and now is the time to plan ahead.
The MOTHER EARTH NEWS Pickin' Chicken app has expanded its content to include more breed photos and profiles, along with additional search functions, to help you find the chicken breed you need.
Growing Local Food is a new book that encompasses all the needed basics to grow plants, keep heritage breed animals and bees. The author is a homesteader and physician who gives the readers the basic information to grow or find nutritious, local food
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy announces the new Heritage Turkey publication, Selecting Your Best Turkey for Breeding. The resource highlights on the history of Heritage Turkeys and how to raise the breed.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel recounts how she went from half-hearted to full-breed-ahead when it comes to breeding goats.
The Pickin’ Chicken iPhone/iPad app from MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you select the perfect chicken breed by allowing you to search for desired traits from 82 breeds and more than 100 varieties. You can even select either “heritage” or “endangered” breeds from the list by tapping a button. Descriptions include free-range foraging ability, purpose (eggs, meat or both), egg size, growth rate, mothering ability, place of origin, conservation status and more.
A short introduction to the almond pollination adventure going on in California right now. Bee Culture spent 3 weeks exploring this annual event, traveling from Bakersfield to Chico, visiting orchards, beekeepers and almond growers.
Learn how to breed corn in your own corn nursery, plus learn how to properly hand-pollinate corn plants.
At breeding time, things aren't always what they seem. Sometimes things can really go awry!
A beginning farmer learns that keeping does and keeping bucks are two different things.
Joseph Lofthouse, seedsman from Paradise Utah, is now blogging about “Landrace Gardening” on Mother Earth News. The blog is a practical hands-on manual about how to improve crop production by localizing your plants to your unique garden.
With just about every breed of standard bred, heritage poultry, we have work to do. They are not producing like they once were.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick gets through winter — and goat breeding — by taking a page from her herd and sticking together.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Rachel, of Dog Island Farm, argues in favor of her favorite chicken breed, the Buckeye.
Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch announces the heritage chicken cooking competition. With the right recipe for whole-bird, cut-up, de-boned or barbequed heritage chicken, you could win $1,000. Plus, you'd be contibuting to a worthy cause — promoting heritage breeds.
The winning recipes of the Heritage Chicken Cooking Competition — hosted by Frank Reese of Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch — have been announced! The Grand Prize winner was Ann Knowles of Salina, Kan., with her Baked Chicken a la Tucson. Heritage chicken breeds are an integral component of sustainable farming and add to poultry’s overall genetic diversity, as opposed to industrial chicken breeds that comprise the vast majority of chickens produced in the United States.
My second visit to the seventh annual Monticello Heritage Harvest Festival.
The USDA has extended the comment period on agricultural "coexistence," which will determine how much protection organic farmers and seed breeders will have from GM seed contamination, until March 4.
Advice on how to get the most tender and flavorful meat from your chickens.
A look into each dairy breed, on how much milk each one averages and what to expect in taste.
Miniature cows may be half the size of standard cattle, but as MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader Corinne Talkin writes, these diminutive breeds have big personalities.
Preserving rare breeds requires that the animals are successful in having babies. For our poultry, we sometimes find that the mother hen does a better job than the incubator.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) will be celebrating 35 years of success at their annual conference on November 9-10 in Cary, N.C. Whether you’re a hard core farmer or backyard hobbyist, the conference is sure to have something to ruffle your tail feathers.
The next installment of Maddy Harland's blog series on forest gardening. This week how to choose the lower canopy.
Learn about what goes on at the Heritage Harvest Festival in Virginia and the Mother Earth News Fair in Pennsylvania, both held in September.
Over 700 varieties of apples and pears, for $9 each, from Wagon Wheel Orchard, plus the family's crab apple jelly recipe.
There used to be, from Maine to Georgia and west to the Mississippi river, 20.000 grafted apple varieties. Today, when commercialism is king and the most known apple varieties are the 5 kinds offered in the supermarket those old varieties are worth paying attention to. As with all things around us, diversity is interesting and sustainable.
As fall wanes, HOMEGROWN Life contributor Dyan spends time observing and learning from the language of animals on her Maine dairy farm.
To benefit from the meat of backyard chickens, one must learn to process them. This includes how to kill, scald, pluck, and eviscerate, and then get them into the freezer. This article describes how we are learning to improving this process.
It has been fifteen months since heritage breed hog farmer Mark Baker sued the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to stop the implementation of an invasive species order (ISO). The swine ISO supposedly targeted feral swine but could be applied to any domestic pig not raised in confinement. Baker has yet to have his day in court and it is still not settled when his trial will take place. It is common for lawsuits like this to turn into wars of attrition; the state has virtually unlimited resources while the farmers are bled of theirs over the course of the litigation.
So, what makes a flock of poultry sustainable? What is standard-bred poultry? If you purchase chicks from a hatchery, are they true to the breed? Why does every hatchery sell Rhode Island Reds and they all look different? Why do the Cornish Cross meat chickens have so many problems? Raising standard poultry is the only true way to improve the sustainability of quality local food while preserving the strength of Heritage poultry.
The Department of Natural Resources seeks to fine a family for possession of prohibited swine.
The past year was a rewarding one for apple discovery, because I potentially found the apple that started my apple search about sixteen years ago — the ‘Harper’s Seedling’ apple.
Monticello's Heritage Harvest Festival inspired us to keep at those challenges that frustrate us on the farm.
Take a visual tour of the events at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Puyallup, Washington.
We're getting revved up for winter seed swaps, and planning our tomato plantings to account for all the great tasting events next summer and fall. Find out how to find your own local events, or host your own!