Poultry Breeds…What Are They, Anyway?

Poultry Breeds…What Are They, Anyway?
By D.P. Sponenberg – Breeds are important for many reasons. A main contribution of breeds is to organize the variation in a species into different genetic packages so that owners can choose the specific combination that works best for them. For example, Icelandic chickens and Egyptian Fayoumis are each going to perform best in different environments, and if breeders do not take good care of these genetic packages, then future generations will simply not have some of the options that have blessed the current owners. Why does all this matter? Breeds matter, because each one of them is a genetic package that can be used for some combination of purposes in some specific range of settings. It is important to keep that in mind, and to not squander those packages by mixing them all up. They are more than pretty birds or pretty animals — each one served some human community

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