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The importance of biodiversity in poultry farming
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How important is biodiversity in poultry?
We can consider poultry biodiversity as the great variety of breeds that have adapted to the environment, customs and traditions of national poultry farming.
The maintenance of poultry biodiversity guarantees the survival of genetic peculiarities that can be used in climate change and that once characterized the different regions of a country.
As an example, let us consider three Italian chicken breeds: the Trentina, the Leccese and the Sarda.
Morphologically, they are very similar: same shape and size, golden plumage, simple crest, yellow legs and skin, white-shelled eggs.
According to historical documentation dating back to the beginning of the last century, the production characteristics of the three breeds are as follows.
- Trentina: it produces more than 150 eggs per year if reared outdoors at -10°C / 14°F;
- Leccese: it produces more than 150 eggs per year if reared outdoors at 40°C / 104°F;
- Sarda: it produces more than 150 eggs per year, free-range on stones with few or no grass.
Conserving poultry biodiversity is important to maintain genetic traits that may become useful as an answer of climate change.
It does not mean maintaining the beauty of a particular plumage, or the shape of the crest, but rather ensuring certain productions linked to particular climatic situations.