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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2087862
Rated: 18+ · Book · Contest Entry · #2087862
Life with Jody--former Soldier (medically retired), writer (in training), and lots more
#885564 added June 24, 2016 at 9:33pm
Restrictions: None
Photographing Endangered Poultry and Livestock Conservancy

Word for the day: Shoals.

My friend, Karen, and I were driving and we saw a sign for "Long Shoals" which brought up the question (for her, I already knew...or that I did), "What does 'shoals' mean?" I won't bore you with my 'close, but no cigar' answer, but at least according to Google, this is a shoal. Noun: (Also a verb, but I assume Long Shoals, Mussle Shoals, and Saluda Shoals all intend for 'shoals' to be a noun.) 1. An area of shallow water, especially as a navigational hazard. A submerged sandbank visible at low water. Synonyms: sandbank, bank, mudbank, bar, sandbar, shelf, cay, key "At low tide we go out on the shoal to look for fiddler crabs" 2. A hidden danger or difficulty. "He alone could safely guide them through Hollywood's treacherous shoals"

I like #2. Note for future writing. *Bigsmile*

Today Karen and I went to a farm to see some endangered farm animals and to let me practice taking pictures of them. I have to take pictures daily for my photography class and since my medium-term goal is to be able to take pictures of the endangered livestock that don't have pictures and send them to http://www.LivestockConservancy.org to post, it seemed like a natural thing to do--call up perfect strangers and ask if I could photograph their chickens. lol Weirdly, they said yes. They also teased me about having the courage to call them, but hey, I got what I wanted. Plus, they're the weirdos who let some stranger come photograph their animals.

So, they had a couple of different kinds of endangered poultry. The chicken I went out to see was the cochin. https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/cochin Cochin chickens are on the Recovering list, meaning they are still being monitored, but have gone beyond the minimal numbers required to be in official need of real conservation. They also had some Araucana which are being studied to see if they also need to be on the list or if they still have sufficient numbers.

They also had a pair of adult turkeys and 5 babies, called poults. The royal palm turkey, the kind they had, is on the Threatened list, meaning fewer than 1,000 breeding birds in the United States, with seven or fewer primary breeding flocks, and estimated global population less than 5,000. https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/royalpalm

For those that are interested, the Livestock Conservancy conservation priority divisions are Critical, Threatened, Watch, Recovering, and Study. Keep in mind, poultry have different parameters from rabbits and still different from regular barnyard animals like horses, donkeys, cows, sheep, goats, and pigs. To be considered in critical need of conservation for poultry, there are fewer than 500 breeding birds in the United States, with five or fewer primary breeding flocks (50 birds or more), and estimated global population less than 1,000. There are 11 breeds of chickens, 2 breeds of ducks, 4 breeds of geese, and 1 breed of turkey that falls into this category. To be defined in the Watch category, poultry would be fewer than 5,000 breeding birds in the United States, with ten or fewer primary breeding flocks, and estimated global population less than 10,000. Also included are breeds with genetic or numerical concerns or limited geographic distribution.

If anyone is interested in the requirements to make the Critical list for rabbits, it's fewer than 50 annual registrations in the United States and estimated global population less than 500. Thankfully, there's only one rabbit on the Critical list. (There are others on the Threatened, Watch, Recovering, and Study lists.) Yes, I know, it's very ironic that anything that can "breed like rabbits" can actually be at risk for becoming extinct, but it's true.

For the other livestock to be considered Critical, there are fewer than 200 annual registrations in the United States and estimated global population less than 2,000. There are 9 cattle, 2 donkeys, 2 goats, 11 horses, 3 pigs, and 5 sheep breeds that are considered Critical. Sadly, there are animals on all the other lists too. There are nearly 200 breeds of livestock that are at risk for extinction. As you see, I'm a little passionate about this...and I don't even have a farm. *Bigsmile*

I'm not saying we need millions of each of these breeds, but the breeds we use today in "factory farms" aren't the breeds we used 100 years ago. I'm not here to say we shouldn't create new breeds to benefit us. I'm simply saying that if it's not what we used 100 years ago, it's naive to think it's what we'll be eating in 100 years from now. We need to save all the "heritage" breeds so that when these current breeds no longer suit our purposes, we will still have genetics to draw from to create what we need next. Now, how animals are TREATED on factory farms is a whole other issue we won't get into here. Let me just say that I eat meat, but I don't want it to suffer before hand.

ANYWAY, I've gotten WAY off track! Basically, I got to take pictures of some endangered poultry today and I met a really nice farming couple. FYI, poultry are not particularly inclined to hold still, even if you ask nicely. A LOT of my shots are blurry...AKA "action shots." lol I really need to work on that whole "shutter speed" thing to fix that. Well, that's why we practiced today. All in all, it was a good day...no, make that a really good day. We stopped for boiled peanuts on the way home! *Bigsmile*

TTFN! (Ta-ta For Now!)

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