Background: The American Poultry Association (APA) serves as an advocate for the raising of “standard-bred” poultry. Poultry, in this context, refers to chickens (large fowl and bantam), waterfowl (geese and ducks), turkeys and guinea fowl. The organization maintains a Standard of Perfection that describes, in detail, the ideal fowl based upon shape, color, and characteristics of each breed and variety. These descriptions and characteristics reflect the prototypical production bird, either for laying or meat purposes or both. In addition, standard-bred birds are capable of natural reproduction and retaining uniformity of the breed. In recent times, the majority of the birds raised for meat purposes are cross-bred and fed high protein feeds and additives in order to achieve rapid growth. Many of them actually go to market at 6 weeks of age. If allowed to mature, they “break down” in the legs and cannot reproduce. There is also a significant difference in the quality and taste of the meat derived from standard-bred birds compared to the cross-bred creations commonly found in supermarkets. Poultry marketed from APA certified flocks can be identified with the “APA Certified” label which adds value to the product.
Purpose: Certify that poultry flocks raised for market purposes meet American Poultry Association (APA) guidelines. Certification allows the flock owners to use the APA logo on their product and literature which informs consumers they are adhering to the APA guidelines and definition of “standard-bred poultry.” Poultry marketed as “standard-bred” must include the variety and breed name on the label. Certifications are good for three years.
Definition: “Standard-bred poultry” includes breeds and varieties of domestic poultry that are recognized by the APA and retain certain historic characteristics that are no longer present in the majority of poultry raised for consumption. These include the various races of poultry – chickens, geese, ducks, and turkeys. Standard-bred poultry must exhibit the characteristics of the breed as defined by the APA Standard of Perfection and be capable of natural mating.
Inspection Conditions and Procedures: In order to be certified as an APA approved flock, the following conditions shall be met:
- Applicant/flock owner must be a member in good standing of the APA.
- Registration form, accompanied by the appropriate fees, must be filed with the Secretary of the APA.
- Flock must be inspected, on the premises, by an APA licensed flock inspector.
- Flocks must conform to the requirements set forth in the latest version of the APA Standard of Perfection for the breed/variety under certification including weight.
- Judge must visually inspect all birds in the flock and physically inspect a minimum of 20% of the flock.
- Flock shall contain no more than 2% disqualifications that affect market value (i.e. deformed back, crooked keel, etc.).
- Flock shall contain no more than 10% visible disqualifications that do not affect market value (i.e. stubs, foreign comb, side sprigs, etc.).
- Flock shall appear healthy with no visibly ill specimens.
- Download an application package from the APA website or contact the APA secretary for a hardcopy.
- Complete application package and forward to APA secretary along with appropriate fees.
- Must complete the Inspector’s Certification process.
- Make arrangements with applicant for flock inspection.
- Contact APA secretary to make sure that an application is filed and application fees are paid.
- Perform inspection.
- Complete an inspection report and sign Certification document and provide a copy to the applicant and the APA Secretary within one week of actual inspection.
APA Secretary’s Instructions:
- Make sure that application is properly completed and accompanied by appropriate fee.
- Make sure that the flock(s) to be certified meets the criterion of a heritage breed/variety.
- Notify applicant that all is in order.
- Select an inspector.
- File a copy of the application, inspection report, and Certification.
- Notify applicants when re-certification is due.
There will be a basic fee of $300 due with the application. This will cover the cost of inspection of any flock of 100 birds or less. There will be an additional fee of $1/bird for each bird over 100.