The Encyclopedia of Historic and Endangered Livestock and Poultry Breeds (The Yale Agrarian Studies Series)


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This is a wonderful book, and you don't have to be a smallholder to appreciate it. It works on many levels. There is a simple fascination with the sheer variety of livestock and poultry breeds, and the arguments for preserving rare breeds are put forward in a very eloquent way. Both farming and medicine benefit from the livestock and poultry diversity. The book is comprehensive, and very well researched, and the author also has practical experience.

The book is based on research on breeds in the UK, Canada and the US. Some 200 breeds are described, covering different types of livestock, including horses, goats, sheep, pigs, cattle, and poultry (chickens, ducks, turkeys, and geese. There are some 250 illustrations, with 32 pages colour plates. It's a little expensive, but well worth buying because it's such an enjoyable and fascinating book.