Top 5 Breeds

Top 5 Endangered Breeds

 1) Beltsville Small White 2) Newfoundland Pony 3) Choctaw Hog 4) Santa Cruz 5) Holland

You can Help Save Endangered Breeds Today - Join The Livestock Conservancy!

Your $45 membership will allow The Livestock Conservancy to protect over 150 breeds from extinction.

About The Livestock Conservancy

Did you know that 1 in 5 of the world's farm animal breeds are in danger of extinction? In fact, many of these breeds are at a greater risk than wildlife species that get much of the attention. There are far fewer Kerry cattle, Newfoundland Ponies, and Choctaw hogs than there are Black Rhinos, Giant Pandas, and Siberian Tigers – something most people don't realize.

Agriculture has lost its diversity over the past century, and America's livestock have diminished from many diverse, regionally adapted, sustainable breeds to a handful of very large farms raising just a few breeds. In the United States we risk losing over 150 once-popular breeds that represent the genetic diversity in our food system and an important part of our nation's heritage to extinction.

But The Livestock Conservancy cannot protect heritage breeds on its own. Whether you currently own livestock, dream to in the future, or simply value protecting America's diverse collection of farm animals from extinction, you can help ensure their survival today. You have the opportunity to take an active role in ensuring breeds like the Guernsey cow, the Clydesdale horse, and the Dominique chicken are safe from extinction. The following breeds are among the most endangered animals on the planet... These breeds and their stewards need your help - please consider joining The Livestock Conservancy today.

1) Beltsville Small White turkeys

The Beltsville Small White turkey was nearly extinct by the 1970s and a few small flocks are all that remain. Although considered a fine bird for family use, it was less well received by the hotel and restaurant trade or by processors that desired a larger bird from which they could obtain more “slices.” It is now America's most endangered turkey variety.

2) Newfoundland Ponies

In the early days, Newfoundland Ponies were strongly influenced by the maritime environment of Newfoundland and were used by local farmers and fishermen in plowing, hauling, and transporting goods and people. Mechanization put these ponies out of a job in the 20th century, and they were dispersed, slaughtered, and ignored so that now the population of breeding animals is only about 200 to 250 and widely scattered.

3) Choctaw hogs

Choctaw hogs traveled the Trail of Tears and provided sustenance to the Choctaw Indians as they faced an uncertain future and food to Oklahomans during the Depression. There are now only 100-150 left in existence and The Livestock Conservancy has undertaken a major conservation breeding project to save the remaining hogs.

4) Santa Cruz sheep

Santa Cruz sheep are named for Santa Cruz Island, one of the Channel Islands off the coast of California. Sheep have been on the island for at least 70 years and perhaps as long as 200 years. The breed is an important genetic resource. Its historic background, long period of isolation, and adaptation to a challenging environment have given the breed an array of characteristics not found among commercial breeds. The domestic population currently stands at about 150 animals.

5) Holland chickens

Despite what the name would suggest, this breed was developed in America. In its prime, the Barred Holland was much more popular with the farmers than was the White Holland. This may have been because of the popularity of the Barred Plymouth Rock, or it may have been for the practical reason that a chicken with a pattern is less likely to suffer predation than a white chicken. The less popular White Holland may well be extinct now and remaining Hollands are likely the rarest living breed of American chicken.


Want to help save these and over 150 other breeds from extinction? Please consider joining The Livestock Conservancy today!

Basic and above membershps Include:

  • Quarterly full-color, 20+ page print newsletter
  • The Livestock Conservancy e-News
  • Network with breeders with your print copy of the Rare Breeds Breeders and Products Directory (also online)
  • List your rare breeds and rare breed products in the Directory
  • Free online classifieds postings
  • Technical support for your rare breeds enterprise
  • Discounts on conference registrations and publications
  • Use of The Livestock Conservancy member logo
  • Support  for rare breed conservation!


Basic Membership - $45

(Other membership levels available - click here)


About Us:

The Livestock Conservancy, building upon nearly 40 years of conservation successes, works tirelessly to identify, promote, and protect America's farm animals from extinction. The Conservancy works directly with small farmers and breeders to fill their pastures with endangered breeds and help those farms succeed.