Factory farming demands breeds that are adapted to withstand confinement while producing the highest volumes of meat, milk, or eggs in the shortest time. The result is a focus on a few breeds and varieties that dangerously narrows the gene pool of agricultural animals. Socially responsible farmers find heritage breeds more suitable to mixed farming and outdoor living. Often heritage breeds have a combination of desirable qualities such as hardiness, good mothering, and strong immune systems. By purchasing meat, eggs, or milk from heritage breeds consumers can prevent their extinction and help preserve the valuable genetic resources they embody.
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