In Italy there are about 1,000 non-professional poultry farmers of ornamental breeds (chickens).
They grow for pleasure animals that match race and aesthetic precise criteria. Each variety of chicken has its own shape, plumage, color or gait because it was raised in a specific place, with a specific culture. While seeking these peculiarities, amateur aviculturists bring back poultry which disappeared when human beings chose to breed one single sort of chicken which could grow sufficiently fast to be economically convenient. It is likely that if it weren’t for those non-professional poultry farmers many of these chickens races would be extinct and their genes irremediably lost.
Amateur aviculturists face competitions in which each animal is judged by how it responds to precise parameters, different for each race: posture, size and shape, but also design and color of the plumage.