For over a century, McMurray Hatchery has remained dedicated to preserving rare and exotic poultry breeds. Today we carry over 120 breeds of chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guineas, peafowl, pheasants and other rare and exotic birds.
As part of our dedication to the preservation of these breeds, we are excited to announce that this year we are donating 10% of the proceeds from sales on all Heritage Breed day-old baby chicks for the week of May 19th to The Livestock Conservancy as part of International Heritage Breeds Week (May 19-25, 2019).
“We appreciate the overwhelming response to those who purchased and participated in preserving our Heritage Breeds, specifically this past week. Because of your generosity, we are thrilled to announce our donation of $5,141 to The Livestock Conservancy. This donation will help further the work the Conservancy does to track vulnerable livestock and poultry populations, increase awareness about rare breeds, and share with people how the breeds can fit into their particular farms, homesteads, or backyards,” says McMurray Hatchery Vice President, Thomas Watkins.
“We are grateful for this donation from our long-time friends at Murray McMurray Hatchery, would like to thank everyone at McMurray Hatchery and the customers who purchased chicks during International Heritage Breeds Week. Nearly half of the breeds on The Livestock Conservancy’s priority list are poultry and waterfowl, which makes Murray McMurray an important partner in our conservation efforts. These funds, along with new heritage breed flocks being established from the birds McMurray sells, will help The Livestock Conservancy carry out our mission to protect endangered breeds from extinction,” says Livestock Conservancy Executive Director, Dr. Alison Martin.
Though International Heritage Breeds Week has ended, the fight to end the extinction of these Heritage Breeds has not. Join our efforts in preserving these endangered breeds by participating in the discussion (#HeritageBreeds), starting your own flock of Heritage Breeds available from McMurray Hatchery or donating to livestock conservation organizations like The Livestock Conservancy. If you have questions about a breed, or need help placing an order, call our offices at 800-456-3280.
The Livestock Conservancy is America’s leading organization working to protect over 150 heritage breeds of livestock and poultry from extinction. Included are donkeys, cattle, goats, horses, sheep, pigs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys. Founded in 1977, The Conservancy is the pioneer organization in the U.S. working to conserve historic breeds and genetic diversity in livestock. The Livestock Conservancy’s mission is “to protect endangered livestock and poultry breeds from extinction.”
Why are domestic breed of livestock and poultry in danger of extinction?
Modern agriculture and food production favors the use of a few highly specialized breeds selected for maximum output in intensively controlled environments. Many traditional breeds do not excel under these conditions, causing their popularity to decrease and leaving them faced with extinction. Although these breeds do not fit today’s mainstream model of agriculture, they are exquisitely suited for backyards and small to medium-sized farms, and their genetics are valuable to all of agriculture.
Why is genetic diversity important?
Like all ecological systems, agriculture depends on genetic diversity to adapt to an ever-changing environment. Genetic diversity in domestic animals is revealed in distinct breeds, each with different characteristics and uses.
Traditional, historic breeds retain essential attributes for survival and self-sufficiency – fertility, foraging ability, longevity, maternal instincts, ability to mate naturally, and resistance to disease and parasites. As agriculture changes, this genetic diversity may be needed for a broad range of uses and opportunities. Once lost, genetic diversity is gone forever.