Here is an excerpt from a great article in The Permacultivator – Journal of Cool Climate Permaculture written by Jill Cockram who alerts us to the problems of shrinking biodiversity and how to help.
Larger Livestock Minority Breeds
Rare and minority breeds of farm livestock and the value in preserving them where possible on small and large-scale Permaculture sites.
Apart from the work done by the odd breeding enthusiast, the diversity of livestock breeds found on farms these days is limited to a few well-known breeds, of both pure and hybrid origin. Some of the previously common farm animals like the Clydesdale and other quarter horses went out of vogue altogether with the introduction of fossil-fuel driven tractors. These draught animals are still useful on small acreages where you might be alley-cropping small areas rather than farming large monocultures of grains and where it is not necessary to bring in feedstock as there is sufficient grazing area. Not only are they feeding themselves but they