Originally Posted by craftydrae
Here are some questions that I have,
When trying to breed your "own" line of heritage chicken what are the main steps?
What do you do first and last?
When you hatch the chicks do you keep the best ones to then breed up with a new roo for new blood in the line?
How do you keep your line pure? I wan to stay away from inbreeding as much as possible!
and at what age do you stop breeding a hen and rooster?
This is a huge question that could take hours to answer. Just want to remark on 2 tings first.
1. Chickens don't need biodiversty in their gene pool, they already have it. What they need is wise selection within the individual breeding program. Inbreeding isn't a dirty word in classic animal breeding . Inbreeding is a classic method for setting the type you are seeking for your new strain. Fowl have a very wide genetic base as a species, plus a plethora of sex-linked genes which make inbreeding much less of a concern than it would be with mammals which don't have a many sex-linked genes.
2. Biodiversity and genetic diversity (as philosophies ) are two different things. See the thread in BYC forum "Breeding, Genetics and Showing" titled, " Dorkings???", Post 5 of 12 for a complete explanation of this.
Ok, so having read post 5 above we understand that it is ok to inbreed and that diversity in a breeding program comes thru judcious selection by the breeder. Now you are better prepared to choose a wider range of breeding choices for your birds.
First, get to know the breeds , their history and origins. This will give you the info you need to understand the nuances of the breeds. This understanding will allow you to choose proper breed type. Knowing that, study is needed to understand how to balance color in your matings Then use thisknowledge to develop a breeding plan which will bring these things about.
There are several classic books out there by breeder/judges of high repute which are very helpful. This is one of my favorites which I study repeatedly. Because it is about the absolute laws of breeding and not theories or opinions, it is timeless, even tho written in 1912. The author is Danne Honour's uncle's uncle. As you know, breeding a buff breed, Danne is the Dean of all things pertaining to Buff chicken breeding. The apple sure didn't fall far from the tree there.
Author: Card, Wetherell Henry, 1860-
Here's is an on-line PDF file of Danne's classic ebook on breeding the color Buff.
A collection of valuable articles and writings on the subject.
Buff Colouration in Poultry , 2007, 278 pages.
Also, you will want to order the APA Standard of Perfection for Christmas. It is $59.00 and critical to your poultry education. Few serious breeders will take you seriously if you don't own one. It is a critical guide book to all things poultry.
Karen in western PA, USA
Edited by 3riverschick - 10/14/12 at 11:24pm