12 Greenfire Farms Day-Old Lamona Chicks
The lucky winner of this auction will receive 12 or more unsexed day-old Lamona chicks, a beautiful dual-purpose breed that started in America and all but vanished until very recently.
In 1912, Harry Lamon, working at the USDA’s research center in Beltsville, Maryland, envisioned the perfect chicken for America: a dual-purpose breed that would abundantly lay for a year and could then processed as a meat bird for the dinner table. He took three well-established chicken breeds –the silver-grey Dorking, the white Rock, and the white Leghorn-- and by crossing them began the tedious multi-generational process of selecting birds that exhibited the desired checklist of qualities. It took 16 years for him to achieve his goal, and USDA Secretary named this stunning new breed after its creator, Harry Lamon. In 1933 the Lamona was admitted to the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection, notably one of the handful of breeds developed in modern America that enjoyed this distinction.
While Lamon’s breeding skills were impeccable, his timing was less so, and in the 1930s single-purpose chickens that were often crosses or proprietary strains began to take hold in the agricultural economy. By the 1970s the Lamona population had dwindled to critical levels, and a few hardcore Lamona enthusiasts were all that separated this breed from extinction. One of these enthusiasts was Steve Gerdes, an Illinois poultry breeder who had shown Lamonas since the 1960s and in 1978 his Lamona hen was a chosen as a champion in the American class. Gerdes was credited as being one of America’s top Lamona experts in the latter half of the 20th Century.
Here, things get murky. At least one author has reported that the Lamona breed went extinct in the 1980s. On its website the Livestock Conservancy hints that it may have located two isolated flocks around 2005. There is a rumor that the last two flocks of the original Lamon line of Lamonas died in two separate tragedies, a barn fire and a weasel attack on their chicken coop. At any rate, since the 1980s there have been vastly more Bigfoot sightings than credible Lamona sightings.
Thankfully, at the turn of the century Steve Gerdes took it upon himself to create Lamonas again. Because the precise genetic recipe for Lamonas was well-known – a silver-grey Dorking, a white Rock, a white Leghorn—and given his vast knowledge and hands-on experience with the original Lamona lines, he was able to eventually breed a very convincing Lamona. In about the same time it took Harry Lamon to create the Lamona a century ago, almost miraculously Steve Gerdes was able to produce a Lamona.
Sadly, Steve Gerdes, the benefactor of this rare breed, passed away a few years ago. But luckily, he left his then-existing Lamona stock with his son, Kurt. After some correspondence Kurt was kind enough to sell us a trio of Lamonas (about half the birds he owned) and we began working with the birds to familiarize ourselves with and improve the breed.
We’re very pleased to have been involved in the process of bringing back the Lamona to America’s backyard coops. And, here’s your opportunity to build on that legacy and be one of the few people in America who have ever seen, let alone owned, that ghostly legend of American poultry, the Lamona.
The pictures on this auction represent the quality of the stock that Greenfire Farms is currently working with. The winning bidder will receive 12 or more unsexed day-old chicks. They will be vaccinated for Marek's. These chicks will be shipped within three weeks of the close of this auction. We guarantee live delivery and the health of the chicks for 72 hours after you receive them. The auction winner pays an additional $35 in shipping costs. We do not ship outside the lower 48 states.
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Greenfire Farms raises some of the rarest poultry breeds in the world; for more information about our breeding program, please visit: