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First hatch of the season! ... See MoreSee Less

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First chicks of the season are hatching today - love the little balls of yellow fluff and their chirping! ... See MoreSee Less

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Some are asking for pics of processed birds..... ... See MoreSee Less

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First eggs of the season are in the incubator! ... See MoreSee Less

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Dawnridge Farm shared The Livestock Conservancy's post. ... See MoreSee Less

PITTSBORO, NC, USA [January 16, 2018] – The National Restaurant Association has ranked Heritage breed meats among the top food trends for 2018 after completion of its annual survey of 700 professional chefs – members of the American Culinary Federation (ACF Chefs). The annual “What’s Hot” list gives a peek into which food, beverage and culinary concepts will be the new items on restaurant menus that everyone is talking about in 2018. Heritage breed meats ranked 13th overall as a hot trend with 60% of chefs favoring them as such. Topping the list at 69% was “New cuts of meat” (e.g. shoulder tender, oyster steak, Vegas Strip Steak, Merlot Cut). The Association surveyed chefs in October and November 2017, asking them to rate 161 items as a “hot trend,” “yesterday’s news,” or “perennial favorite” on menus in 2018. “We’re thrilled to have Heritage breed meats ranked as a hot trend for 2018. We’re now working to ensure they become a perennial favorite” said Alison Martin, Executive Director for The Livestock Conservancy, the organization that tracks Heritage breed livestock populations, works to promote them, and published the first Heritage breed definition for the marketplace more than a decade ago. Martin says Heritage breeds have a long-established history in American agriculture and represent the breeds that were once common before industrial agriculture became mainstream. “The diversity of flavors offered by Heritage breeds is the missing ingredient in today's kitchens, reminding us of what we have sacrificed for uniformity in our food.” she said. With the resurgence of interest in Heritage breeds, chefs and consumers across the country are rediscovering the breeds that produce the most flavorful meats possible. “Enjoy a dinner at many of the country’s finest restaurants and you’ll likely find Heritage meats on the menu” said Martin. Along with high-quality meats, consumers and chefs are looking to add more vegetables to the menu for 2018. “Local, vegetable-forward, and ethnic-inspired menu items will reign supreme in the upcoming year” said Hudson Riehle, Senior Vice President of Research at the National Restaurant Association. Families looking to fill their plates with more vegetables are turning to higher quality, sustainably raised Heritage breed meats to fill their protein needs. “People are beginning to realize that eating less meat overall means that when they do eat it, they can choose the best quality meat they can find” says Martin. “Heritage breed meats fit that model perfectly – the flavor is proof.” To locate and purchase Heritage breed meats and other products, visit The Livestock Conservancy’s online directory at Printed directories are distributed to Livestock Conservancy members. To view the full 2018 Top Food Trends list, visit Read more:

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Slow PoultryWorkshop

Join us in Grass Valley, on Dawnridge Farm, and learn more about Slow Poultry and Heritage Breeds.

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NPIP Testing – What does it mean why we do it.

One of the requirements of being a part of the Sustainable Poultry Network is to be certified by the NPIP. What does that mean?! NPIP stands for the National Poultry Improvement Plan. This is a federal program that tests for several common diseases including Avian Bird flu and Pullorum. All of the breeding flock has blood tested and once the flock/farm has been given the clean bill of health, a NPIP # is given. This allows customers of eggs and chicks to know that our birds will not pass on diseases. We are happy to say we have been approved and received our NPIP # this week!

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SPN Poultry Clinic

We attended a great poultry clinic last week in Modesto, CA. About 40 other like minded people were there – some breeders, some growers and some just getting started and deciding what type of heritage breed they would like to have. Classes included poultry safety taught by Dr Mark Bland, marketing, feed for all stages of growth, national and state requirements and lots of networking! We met people for all over the US! What a great experience! Makes us even more proud of what we do – raising Heritage Delaware poultry and improving the breed!

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Dividing the pullets and cockerels

On September 1, 2014 we went through all of our pullets and chose our very best. We have a total of 7 that will be our main breeding hens. These are the closest to the Heritage Delaware breed. We also have a #2 pen with birds that are close, but not quite as good as the first pen. The rest of the girls are in pen #3 and from them we get our eggs for eating and selling. We are very proud of the quality of birds we are starting with!

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How did we get started?!

Well, here we are almost one year from the time we attended the Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa and met Jim Adkins, founder of Sustainable Poultry Network. I had seen the advertisements on Facebook and in the Baker Seed Catalog and thought it would be fun and interesting to attend…..

We spent 3 days wondering around the fairgrounds and one afternoon attended a “Backyard Poultry” talk by Jim. We missed some of the info and came back the next afternoon to hear more. And as they say, the rest is history!

After talking to Jim for an hour or so, we headed home and started researching breeds of poultry. I wanted to focus on endangered or threatened breeds (who knew what even existed for chickens?!). I narrowed it down to two: Delaware and Buckeye. Both are American breeds that are on the threatened list of the Livestock Conservancy. We talked to Jim about which one he recommended and Delaware it was!

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Our favorite breed


This is one of our Delaware cockerels – about 16 weeks old. They are beautiful birds with bright red combs and wattles, black barring on the hackles and tail.

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