Spring has been here and is gone and summer is going by quick. The garden is growing and we have tons of little babies running around. Our new flock of Cotton Patch goslings looks almost like a flock of full-size adult geese! They grow so fast you can almost see them change in front of your eyes. We’ve added some other endangered animals to our flock as well. One is the Dorking chicken. We’re particularly proud of this accomplishment because it took me over a year to track down a breeder and get eggs.
Dorkings are a very special — and very endangered — breed. They’re one of the first breeds of chickens that were domesticated by humans for eating and were even around during the Roman Empire. Julius Cesar might have even eaten a Dorking! Dorkings have five toes and really short legs. They’re supposed to be exceptionally sweet birds so we’re looking forward to them growing up and showing us their personality. The Dorkings are nearly extinct so we’re very happy to be raising this chicken as well as offering them next year for eating (in limited quantities so put in an order soon!).
Now a lot of people ask about the ethics of eating endangered animals. Eating endangered livestock encourages farmers to raise endangered breeds and this is the only effective way to prevent the extinction of the species. Chickens can’t be released into the wild and most zoos aren’t interested in raising chickens for exhibit. Chickens are farm animals, but farms have to make a profit or they go out of business. Therefore, farm livestock have to be sold. When raising endangered livestock, farmers keep the best of the breed for breeding more and better animals and sell off the culls or the animals that aren’t perfect (e.g. a Dorking with four toes instead of five would be a cull). This keeps the breed strong and healthy.