Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Java Chicken Recovery Project

Java chicks - just hatched!
ALBC is currently conducting a Java Chicken Recovery Project. The goal of the project is to utilize established breeding and selection protocols to assist in recovering breed production characteristics for the Java chicken using a pasture-based system of husbandry. Central to this project is to restore the Java to the APA Standard of Perfection for the breed to identify and select for the four distinct color types and to select for rate of growth and egg laying without compromising physical health, fertility, or breed standard.

Today the Java chicken is listed on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List as “Threatened”. A “Threatened” status means there are less than 1000 breeding birds and less than 5000 birds globally, with seven or fewer primary breeding flocks.

The Java wasn’t always an endangered breed, in fact, it was once a highly preferred breed and was widely seen at poultry shows and on homesteads all around the country. The Black Java saw its true peak of popularity from the mid to late 1800s as a market chicken. The reason for the popularity was the black feathering, which required the pin feathers be meticulously removed, this translated as a measure of the quality of plucking and processing.

First set of Java chicks being picked up by the farm
that will grow out and work with ALBC on
selection and breed improvement.
Javas eventually lost favor, but ALBC is working to bring this second oldest American breed back into the limelight. This morning, our first group of Java chickens was picked up by the family that will be growing them out for the project. A number of “growers” are working on the project to help increase numbers and diversity. Stay tuned for more updates about the project!

For more information about the how to selectively breed for production standards go to the ALBC website

For information about the Java Recovery Project contact ALBC at 919-542-5704 or Steven Moize at

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