Back to utilitypoultry .co.uk UTILITY POULTRY BREEDERS ASSOCIATION by David Applegarth [Chairman]
Membership of the Utility Poultry Breeders association (UPBA) is open to anybody who wishes to help in any way to conserve those lines of poultry that have been selected on utility lines. It is also open to those who wish to start recording production from pure breeds or lines of poultry that up to this point have been selected without reference to production.
As its name suggests the association is a group of breeders. The distinction with breed clubs is deliberate. Any pure breed of poultry or a closed line within a breed can be recorded for production. The interest of the association is in the recording of production. That production can be in the form of eggs or meat.
Normally in the selection of birds for egg production factors such as eggs laid per year will be important but the association will respect the views of breeders who place a higher emphasis on say egg size or colour. A Welsummer or Marans breeder may, for example, choose to select for depth of colour at the expense of egg numbers. A Leghorn breeder may, on the other hand, choose to place a high emphasis on the whiteness of the egg.
The physical conditions under which selection is carried out will have a significant effect on the resultant outcome. Birds selected to live in true free-range conditions or to have natural resistance to disease are likely to develop differently to those selected under intensive conditions.
The UPBA will not lay down any conditions on how birds are selected for breeding. In other words there will be no standard of selection. Breeders will be responsible for their own methods. It will be those breeders, however, who must be prepared to answer questions on such matters as egg production, egg size, age at first egg, shell texture. It is the responsible purchaser of stock who must ask the right question. Records of production should be as comprehensive as the breeder can provide. Restraints of facilities and time may well seriously limit number of records which can be kept. It would therefore be wrong to limit membership of the association to those who can provide the most detailed records.
There is an important link that we must mintain with the breed clubs. For example there would be little point in going for selection on records if the bird that resulted did not more or less match the standard for that breed. A high performing Rhode Island Red line that laid a white egg would hardly be a Rhode Island Red. Likewise if the feather colour of a New Hampshire Red line changed so that they were partridge coloured they would hardly be New Hampshire Red.It is the breed clubs who are and should remain the guardians of what a bird should look like. The UBPA does not wish to get involved with matters of standards of perfection.
All poultry organisations throughout the world have one increasingly important task. That of the conservation of increasingly reducing stocks of pure bred poultry. It is the aim of the UPBA to try and monitor those strains and lines of poultry that are at risk of being lost. With that in mind we are hoping to develop systems of cooperation between ggroups of breeders who are prepared to join together to maintain one line of birds which otherwise may be lost. In this way each member of a group can maintain a small number of birds which in total will maintain a viable breeding population.
For more information about the UTILITY POULTRY BREEDERS ASSOCIATION
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