Thursday, February 5, 2009

In the Field and Into the Lowcountry: Day 1

Day 1

In late October 2008, a trip was planned for coastal region known as the “Lowcountry” of South Carolina to accomplish several conservation goals within that region. Joined by ALBC member and supporter Elizabeth Gordon, Research & Technical Programs Manager, Jeannette Beranger, hit the road with Liz and a breeding flock of Buckeye chickens hitching a ride to their new home in Pamplico, SC.

The Buckeyes were bred through a recovery project initiated by ALBC in 2005 and were going to a new breeder that will be starting a small regional hatchery to provide chicks for local producers.

Along the way to Pamplico, a brief visit was made to the farm of Marsh Tacky horse breeder, David Grant. David is an avid hunter and uses nothing other than Tackies as mounts and spends much of his time telling people about the breed. His excitement for Tackies is infectious as Liz soon discovered when surrounded by his curious and gentle horses. Liz left the farm smitten, as we continued along our way to the next stop which was literally…for the birds.

Jeannette and Liz arrived at Carolina Heritage Farms belonging to ALBC member Gray Moore and his family. Gray has been slowly developing a small regional hatchery at his farm and has had success in marketing heritage breeds chicks and poults locally. The newly arrived Buckeyes will provide hatching eggs for the 2009 breeding season that will aid continued efforts to recover the breed in South Carolina.

While at the farm, we were treated to a visit with Gray’s flock of Narragansett turkeys and a small herd of rare Guinea hogs.

Gray is following in his father’s footsteps with an interest in swine. His father had a long history with similar hogs, known as Essex, which he kept on small Carolinian islands in the 1940’s. Gray’s well-nourished pigs were supplemented with the fruits of his other interest which is heirloom corn propagation that includes over 20 varieties on the farm.

More Photos from Day 1:

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