Before industrial agriculture was the main way of farming, Our Great Grandparents were raising Heritage breeds over a hundred years ago on their small farms. These animals were especially bred to live in different environments based on different temperatures or landscapes.
Now with new small farms on the rise, old is new again. Heritage breeds are becoming more popular as they are better suited for a small farm. The American Guinea Hog for example, which is the most popular Heritage swine in the South, is very different from a commercial hog. They grow slower, don’t get as big, and have smaller litters. They can primarily live on grass and foraging instead of grain feed. These qualities make it easier to have them on small farms.
On our farm we have Heritage breeds as well, with our Barred Plymouth Rock chickens and we have Bantam Cochins coming this weekend. You can find all the filed Heritage breeds on The Livestock Conservancy’s website.
Next I am going to write about Heritage swine and my KuneKune pigs, but these are my favorite Heritage breeds and if I had more space I would have these animals.