Conserving Rare Breeds
The farm is a Rare Breeds Survival Trust Approved Farm Park and has several breeding groups of animals including award winning Tamworth pigs, and rare sheep and goats.
Why Save Rare Breeds?
The answer lies in their genes. Each breed contains a unique mix of genetic material and characteristics. For example, better disease resistance, higher quality wool or an ability to thrive in organic farming systems. These qualities will be lost forever if the breed becomes extinct. Traditional breeds became rare because they did not fit with modern, intensive systems of production. They are more suited to a natural diet without artificial ingredients. This means they mature more slowly and are not so profitable. Also, consumer tastes have changed and there is greater demand for leaner meat. Often, in rare breeds, there is more fat around the cuts of meat. It’s this fat that gives them a better flavour.
The survival of rare breeds requires fully dedicated conservation efforts to retain unique blood-lines and to produce purebred offspring. Registering and taking part in breed society activities is especially important to the future of rare breeds. Our breeding programmes have steadily increased flock and herd numbers into sustainable breeding groups. At Bill Quay we produce sufficient offspring to allow visitors the chance to observe young stock all year round, to produce free-range meat for sale in the farm café and to supply pedigree animals to rare-breeders throughout the UK.