American Livestock Breeds Conservancy's initial poultry research was
published in 1987 as the Poultry Census and Sourcebook. A new study is
underway. The listings have been updated for turkeys in 1999 and ducks and
geese in 2000 to reflect our understanding of the status of the breeds and
varieties. We expect to complete the chicken research in 2002. Our focus is
on genetically distinct stocks that have been of economic and historic
significance in North America. Rapid genetic erosion is occurring in the
poultry species globally, so we are also evaluating breeds of recent
development of importation.
Conservation categories are based on the estimated
number of breeding birds, males and females, and the number of breeding
flocks. Given the vulnerability of poultry to predators, the number of
flocks is important. "Conservation breeding flocks" are those of 50 birds
Fewer than 500 breeding birds in North America, with five or
fewer primary breeding flocks.
Fewer than 1,000 breeding birds in North America, with seven or fewer
primary breeding flocks.
Fewer than 5,000 breeding birds in North America, with ten or fewer
primary breeding flocks. Also included are breeds which present genetic
or numerical concerns or have a limited geographic distribution.
Breeds which are of interest but either lack definition or lack genetic
or historical documentation.
Breeds which were once listed in one of the other categories and
have exceeded Watch category numbers but are still in need of
|* Originated in the
** Rouen: Two distinct types, the production birds
and the larger exhibition birds.
*** African: The large, dewlapped bird reflects
the original phenotype, is an exceptional meat bird and is of
conservation interest. The smaller African goose likely contains some
influence of the Chinese goose, a relative of the African.
**** Toulouse: There are three distinct types. All
are of conservation interest. The standard Toulouse, a large, dewlapped
bird with elongated feathers, loose skin, and a keel, is a good layer
and is a unique color of gray. The smaller Toulouse is a longer legged,
tightly feathered, keel-less goose with no dewlap. The exhibition
Toulouse has an exaggerated dewlap.
Changes to the ALBC Conservation Priority List 2000
Parameters for Livestock Breeds on ALBC Conservation
Revised May 14, 2002