Best way to start developing a line from chicks, Trio or two pair?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Jksmith, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. Jksmith

    Jksmith In the Brooder

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    If you were going to start breeding a particular line and were starting with chicks of known sex, and you could only get a maximum of four, would you recommend a trio of two hens and one roo, or would you go with two pair? I need to make a decision by tomorrow and I haven't had time to fully research the pros and cons of each strategy yet. I would be very grateful to anyone who would be willing to share their opinion on this subject.
    Thank you!!
     
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Free Ranging

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    To start a new line, you really should have more birds, as during the selection process you have to do a LOT of culling. Breeders that develop their own lines hatch hundreds of birds, and cull down to only the best. In addition, starting with a small genetic pool increases the problems found in inbreeding. If you are limited to number, one excellent rooster with 3 top-quality hens would be my choice. You would still have to bring in new birds at some point.
     
  3. Jksmith

    Jksmith In the Brooder

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    Thanks! I hadn't considered 3 hens and 1 roo but that actually might be a better option for me. Thank you for your prompt reply too!
     
  4. jmc

    jmc Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    Why can you only get four?
     
  6. Jksmith

    Jksmith In the Brooder

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  7. Jksmith

    Jksmith In the Brooder

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    They are expensive, for me anyway, but I have very rare and unique opportunity to get some really high quality birds so I am getting what I can for now. After I digest the above mentioned thread, I will have a better idea how I want to proceed and can add to the line then as needed.
     
  8. NYREDS

    NYREDS Crowing

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    In the way of a dissenting opinion let me tell the story of my Rhode Island Red Bantams.
    Twenty six years ago I met a man who had worked for Ken Bowles [one of the early developers of Red Bantams]. When Ken died this fellow kept some of his birds & claimed he had kept them pur. He wouldn't sell any birds but after I bothered him several times he agreed to let me have some eggs. He sent me 3 dozen eggs. They hatched very well: 33 of the 36 hatched. The breakdown was a bit skewed: 29 cockerels & 4 pullets. I culled down to 2 pair & that's what I started with. I bred them until last year & over the years had birds on Champion Row more times than I can remember. Sold or gave away lots of birds that did equally well for their new owners.
    Not sure what the problems found in inbreeding were but they weren't apparent to me. Until the end when I gave away the last of the birds they continued to lay well, hatch well & were healthy. If you start with good stock & keep good records you can line breed for a long time.
    As to the origional question, either a trio or 2 pair will work as a start but I'd prefer 2 pair.
     
  9. Jksmith

    Jksmith In the Brooder

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    Amazing! I had no idea you could line breed for that long like that without issue. Such a wealth of experience to be had here. Thank you for sharing that!
     

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