Sugar Feather Farm
We are a Vermont based family-run farm founded in 2018. We came from California with a vision to create a farm focused on education and sustainability. We not only care for our impact on the environment, but the welfare of our animals and the quality of our products. We are conveniently available online and right here at the farm with a trustworthy welcoming experience, so you always feel like part of the family.
Why Heritage Breeds?
Heritage breeds are critical to our ever rapidly growing industrial world. When we think of mass production animals they are industrial hybrids with low disease resistance and immunity plus rapid production which is not feasible in the long run. When we think of heritage it reminds us of the past when farms were smaller more diverse and life was slower. These breeds from the past were molded and tailored to fit the specific local environment, type of farming and purpose, carefully selected over hundreds of animal generations and perfected.
Compared to industrial breeds, heritage breeds have stronger immune systems, more disease resistant and are more capable of free-ranging and foraging much of their own diet. They can reliably produce superior quality of meat and eggs without chemicals. For example, our chickens typically eat about 1/8 of a pound of feed daily, of their total daily need of about 1/3 of a pound of food. They are explorers!
What is a landrace breed?
A landrace is an animal which has developed largely by natural processes, by adaptation to the natural environment in which it lives. It differs from a formal breed which has been bred deliberately to conform to a particular standard type. Some tend to focus on breeds that were primarily created by artificial selection; that is, chicken breeds created as a project with a specific goal in mind. Whereas a landrace basically creates itself over a substantial time span with minimal artificial intervention.
Why we try not to use hatcheries
Typically those heritage or rare breeds for sale don’t measure up to the Standards of Breed Perfection – American Poultry Association – or the heritage traits and quality. Where or how they are produced is not small scale and carefully bred for top immunity and genetic diversity. We have done several trials with purchasing these birds only to find them getting sick more often, dying quickly, while their egg production and looks are not superior to the legacy and heritage breeds we envision.
Do we have some hatchery birds? Yes of course! But we try to get these birds from top breeders who for generations have built that legacy of top immunity, genetic diversity and natural abilities to forage and produce quality, not quantity.
We are here to preserve, rescue and maintain these critically endangered animals which are the future of sustainable agriculture and the world. These animals fit well on small scale farms, homesteads, and anywhere you want to keep these breeds because they match your environments. Let’s together preserve the legacy of our ancestors and get back to our roots!
Check out The Livestock Conservancy who helps preserve these animals.