Preserve the Pomeranian Goose
with permission from
SPPA Bulletin, 2004, 9(2):12-13
The Historical Pomeranian originates from the Pomorze region and is well entrenched in Germany, Poland and Slavic states around the Baltic. Chris Ashton in his book Domestic Geese talks about a Western Greylag and an Eastern Graylag. During the last Ice Age the Greylag was divided into two distinct races. The western race has more orange in the beak, while the eastern race is bigger, slightly paler in plumage and has an attractive pink beak. The Pomeranian is a descendant of the Eastern Greylag. In the September 2003 issue of the SPPA Bulletin President Russell said, "This breed descended from the Eastern Greylag, which is why true Pomeranians have pinkish red beak, legs and feet." The single lobe is also unique to the Pomeranian in respect to its Greylag cousins. Authors like Dr. J. Batty claim that the Pomeranian is from Toulouse x Embden crosses. I disagree. The Toulouse x Embden cross is what gave us the English Greybacks and Buff Backs and the American Saddlebacks. All three of these breeds have Pomerainan blood and their standard represents that. The historical Pomeranian has been a major working goose in America, which is also the root of the confusion. Greyback, buff back, pied, spotted or saddleback refers to the pattern of plumage. These do not identify the breed of goose. Some breeds that have these markings are the British Buff Back, British Greyback, American Saddleback and the Historical Pomeranian. A saddleback goose is not necessary a Pomeranian. To avoid confusion, specific language is required to identify the separate breeds. To identify, recover and stabilize America's disappearing Historical Pomeranian goose populations, I propose Operation Historical Goose. At this time there are few breeders of the Historical Pomeranian goose. Stock is very difficult to find and no one knows the number of breeders. It has been said that the pink billed Pomeranian no longer exists in the United States. This is not true. There are a few breeders of the Historical Pomeranian. I know of several flocks. The genes are still out there and can still be found. The alarming thing is that if more people do not get interested and spend some time working with this breed, it will be lost. In June of 2003, President Russell called on SPPA members to work on a historical goose project. I've taken up the fight and purchased my seed stock. More troops are needed for the cause. I think this project can be well under way in the next 5 years and substantial seed flocks should be available in 5 to 10 years. Wouldn't it be great to see the breed accepted in the Standard of Perfection? My friend Deb, a respected breeder and one of the founders of the very successful Chicken Chronicle Group, says "We cannot deny the depleted numbers of many species of fowl. Though simple entry into the Standard may no ensure any fowls safety from extinction, it gives reliable credit to its existence. The record and account provided by the Standard should not be based upon the popularity of a fowl, but based upon the value as an accredited breed. We sometimes view the Standard as a tool for only exhibiting, but it is much more than that. It is an institution, and being so it gives great value to its members, those being fowl." Recognition in the APA Standard should be one of our goals, and it would help to preserve the Historical Pomeranian. I would like to see a forum developed so that there can be an exchange of information, breeding strategies and progress of the breed. A group of breeders must be identified that will be involved in searching for stock, purchasing stock and developing breeding programs. A respectful rapport must be established with the American Saddleback breeders. Efforts must be made to assure epicures that pink billed geese make superb dinner fare. Genes and traits must be identified that are vital to the Historical Pomeranian. A standard should be adopted for the Historical Pomeranian that includes all five colors, gray, white, buff, buff back and gray back. A breeder list must be developed and strains documented. The history should be compiled and presented to the SPPA for use in a breed manual. Lastly, a close working relationship should be established with the SPPA Publicity Director. Whether or not the APA recognizes the Historical Pomeranian, it is important for the SPPA to pursue this project. Many people need to be involved to make the final result legitimate. Ultimately the Historical Pomeranian will back away from extinction and move forward to the next hundred years of existence. Please join in this mission by contacting me at 7450 Bryant Road, Lexington, OK 73051 or 405-527-4782 (leave message) or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
back to Poultry Page
Direct questions and comments to Barry at FeatherSite -- questions and comments