U.S. Poultry Producers and their debt to the King & Queen

U.S. Poultry Producers and their debt to the King & Queen

Poultry Producers Throughout The Nation Owe A Debt to Queen and King Victoria and Albert.

The Victoria and Albert Museum, The V & A as it is known to Londoners holds many a treasure.

A story seldom heard in the U.S. is their story of animal husbandry and how it fostered the industries of poultry producing in the U.S. and the world.  

In 1825 Londons LeadenHall Market was selling 11,000 live birds per day in the largest city in the world, not a particularly large number.

The city population was over one million, so consuming this amount of birds daily shows the standing of chickens in the Londoners diet.  Hogs, cattle, sheep, goats were easier to herd to market (cow street photo), chickens were carried in crates, and the simple potato bore the lion’s share of the market.

Around the same time Victoria and Albert were building a grand poultry barn and were experimenting with breeding exotic chickens from around the world.  

They had felt that farming practices had stagnated in the past two thousand years. 

 Farmers seemed content with breeds that hadn’t changed much since the Romans trod on British soil.

The Dorking Fowl was the standard since Roman times, a bird of limited value both in meat production and also limited in egg production.  

They remained throughout the ages because they required so little to survive.

It was an age of seafaring and exploration.  

Animals from all points of the globe were seen as both novelties and also as commodities, they arrived at Victoria and Alberts Poultry Barn.

It was the time of Darwin, it was the time of enlightenment.  It was the “Victorian” Era in full bloom.

Darwin used chickens from all points of the globe to understand evolution.   It was rarely mentioned in his treatise.

It was a time of darkness.  Ireland was experiencing the famine, a total reliance on the potato.

The loss of a million people by some estimates and another million finding “coffin ships” to escape to Canada and the U.S.A.

Meanwhile back at the poultry barn Albert cross bred a Dorking with a Cochin (a chicken from China).  

 From this day forward poultry practices increased exponentially. 

Egg production more than doubled, the weights more than doubled.

A fowl that was under utilized now began strutting its way into the food production chain.

The chicken as we know today found its origins in South East Asia and it was called the Red Jungle Fowl.

From this one species of bird our world has been showered with cheap and inexpensive quality food. www.billkeitel.com

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