Did you know that:
- biodiversity of farm animals is decreasing at an alarming rate?
- according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), half of the breeds found in Europe became extinct at the beginning of the 20th century, and currently around 30% of them are at risk of extinction?
- modern, selected varieties of farm animals, which are more efficient, give more milk and gain weight much faster, are replacing native breeds?
Constant pursuit of increasing production efficiency has caused farm animals to be turned into production machines, used for the greatest profits. Unfortunately, it turns out that as productivity increases, resistance to adverse environmental conditions decreases, and the use of high-protein feeds, antibiotics and hormones has caused a huge increase in farm animals morbidity.
Native breeds are an alternative
Native breeds are breeds of small importance and local scale, which are used only in one country or geographical area. They are characterized by resistance to disease and stress, great adaptation to life in the environmental conditions of the area, as well as lower nutritional requirements. Produced on a much smaller scale in ecological farms, native breeds are protected by specific regulations. They have a long tradition in Poland in terms of preserving and increasing the population size, as well as striving to maintain the greatest genetic variation.
What are the advantages of rearing native breeds?
Qualities that should lead us to protect native animal breeds include:
- the possibility of obtaining and processing food of exceptional quality, with a long tradition of production,
- their longevity, health and disease resistance as well as good fertility,
- ability to reduce efficiency, enabling the survival of periodic feed shortages,
- appropriate adaptation to the environmental conditions from which they originate,
- the opportunity to maintain simple food resources based on grassland, i.e. arable land used for growing grass (meadows and pastures) or other herbaceous crops (herbs, legumes), both natural and resulting from agricultural work.
Polish native breeds of cattle
“Polskie czerwone” cattle is one of the few indigenous, i.e. originating from the area where it is reared, breeds of European red cattle. Perfect for breeding in harsh environmental conditions. It is characterized by all of the above-mentioned values, in addition, high calf viability, ease of rearing and high biological value of milk.
“Bialogrzbiete” cattle bred in Poland for centuries are Polish dairy cows with modest nutritional requirements and very good health. Efficient use of poorer quality feeds make them ideal for extensive farming. They are also characterized by very high fertility, with a low percentage of complications in childbirth.
“Czerwono-biale” cattle is kept for meat and dairy use. It constitutes a very small part of the Polish cattle population. Most cows of this breed are bred in mountains, which affects the formation and development of their muscularity. The meat of red-white cows has a very mild taste, because it usually comes from small, family-run organic farms.
Polish native pork breeds
“Zlotnicka pstra, zlotnicka biala”
“Zlotnicka pstra and zlotnicka biala” pigs are considered meat and fatback breeds, maturing late with a medium growth rate. These breeds have specific genes that improve the quality of their meat, which results in great taste. They are also characterized by high resistance to diseases and good adaptation to adverse environmental conditions.
“Pulawska” pig is considered a fat-meat, early maturing breed. Meat of this breed is considered high-quality specialty. Like other native breeds, they are long-lived, resistant to diseases and well adapted to the environmental conditions in which they live. However, it is a local breed, more useful for keeping on family farms.
Meat of native breeds
More and more people are interested in buying high-quality food, which causes an increase in interest in native beef and pork breeds. The advantage of these meats is their tenderness and very good taste. The increase in demand for native beef and pork should encourage more breeders to choose local breeds, despite their lower yields.