The Importance of Preserving Native Breeds

After attending a 4-day intensive program on chickens at the ISA - Instituto Superior de Agronomia in Lisbon, I gained a profound understanding of the importance of the chickens in our lives.

In Portugal, there are a total of 50 indigenous breeds of domesticated animals, including chickens, pigs, sheep, cattle, goats, and horses. Shockingly, 42 out of these 50 breeds, accounting for 85%, are at risk of extinction. Even among the 4 breeds of Portuguese chickens, namely Pedres Portuguesa, Branca, Amarela, and Preta Lusitânica, all are facing the threat of extinction. It is incumbent upon each one of us to take responsibility for preserving these native breeds of domesticated animals.

Compared to other breeds, native breeds demonstrate higher resilience, making them more suitable for living in a sustainable manner. Furthermore, native animals hold significant value in terms of social and cultural activities. They contribute to creating vibrant rural spaces and form an integral part of the identity of rural populations. For instance, it was customary in the past for parents in rural areas of Portugal to gift two chickens to the bride on her wedding day, as these would provide sustenance for her.

Due to globalization, native breeds are gradually disappearing. The focus has shifted towards crossbreeding different types of breeds worldwide to increase egg production and meat yield. However, this approach results in long-term fragility and vulnerability.

If we desire to inhabit a world capable of withstanding future shocks, it is imperative to preserve native breeds. The most effective method to achieve this is by supporting livestock farmers who are dedicated to the preservation of these breeds, as they play a crucial role in safeguarding them from extinction.


Looking forward to the NFT launch.