Welcome to The RPS website
Welcome to the Rare Poultry Society website, where we hope you will find the information you’re searching for.
When I was asked to write this introduction to the site I thought about what the RPS stands for, and its aims. Admittedly, the early history of the club is covered in the ‘The Beginnings’ section, however the responsibilities of the RPS reach further than just catering for ‘unfashionable’ breeds. When first set up, the society sheltered those breeds without clubs and aimed to support those which had fallen out of favour.
Now, more than forty years on the mandate of the society is as important as ever. True, many breeds previously fostered by the RPS have now moved on and flourish as standalone clubs: Brahmas, Araucanas, Dorkings, Frizzles, Croad Langshans; but so many well-known, as well as native breeds still need the help of the society.
Let us examine the aims put forward by Rex Woods in 1969, and perhaps reflect on what we have accomplished and what still needs addressing:
To provide classes for rare breeds wherever possible, and to see that existing classes are retained and supported.
As all of you have seen, there are a number of classes at all the major shows which have an ever increasing presence year on year. The Poultry Club has also devoted a separate section to the Rare Breeds.
To provide club specials where classes are provided.
To provide breed specials at classic shows, and possibly elsewhere, particularly where several breeds appear in A.O.V.
Many of you will have visited our overladen club stand at the National, where we have a significant number of trophies and awards.
To bring existing breeders and new breeders into closer touch, and keep them better informed by news bulletins and articles in the "Poultry Fancier" and Poultry Club Year Book.
By publishing our own quarterly newsletter, we keep our members up to date on the developments within the society, as well as providing an opportunity for members to submit their views and articles.
To revive interest in rare breeds, by providing some incentive and encouragement.
This point, more than any, will be the one constant in the society’s aims. New breeds are entering the country every year, none of which have breed clubs, and all of which fall under the mandate of the RPS. Hence, our greatest challenge is to ensure that the breeds already under our jurisdiction are kept alive, conserved and honed, whilst welcoming new breeds with their own distinctive niche within the fancy.
Finally, it is important to note that without the activities of the RPS, some of our unique and historic native breeds would have become extinct. Since the formation of the Society, no British breed has suffered this fate.
Andrew Sheppy - Founder, Rare Poultry Society