Breeders, If I Could Ask You a Few Questions!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cluckcluck42, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2009
    Quebec
    I'm relatively new to chicken breeding and I have some questions I have been having trouble finding answers for. Thank you in advance for reading [​IMG]

    Let's say I have 10 birds of a rare breed. I have good quality birds of this breed, and I do not necessarily want to add new genes to the mix. (In Canada, it is tough to find new blood anyways). What I was thinking is that of those 10 birds, I keep one rooster with a flock of hens. I then keep another rooster in a bachelor pad, waiting. When the chicks from the first breeding are old enough, I would then breed those hens to the 'extra' rooster. Would this be better than keeping the chicks to breed to their father?? I figure this way they are being bred to an 'uncle', right?

    Option 2 would be to add in a rooster from a different line who may not be as good of quality as my birds and then breed the offspring from that guy back to the good quality rooster. What is the best option in this situation?

    Now- as for Option 2, I want to use this in my BLRWs because of the BLRWs I have two of them have crooked beaks, which is of course a sign of inbreeding. I want to add new blood into this mix without sacrificing too much quality. What is the best option here? Basically I have one of the best lines available in Canada so there is no real way to find 'better'. I do want to add genetic diversity though. Picking the best offspring of the new rooster and breeding them back to the good quality roosters, is this what most breeders do?

    Any information would be great. I have so many questions and I want to make sure I do everything I can to prevent detrimental inbreeding. I am eager to learn how breeders go about this. I've read so many different things on here about how adding in new lines can make things worse, and I am just so curious to know what everyone does with their own flocks, especially those with rare breeds who may have a harder time finding other lines to cross with.
     
  2. BlacksheepCardigans

    BlacksheepCardigans Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 11, 2010
    Southeast NH
    If your goal is lowering the inbreeding, you need to try to get as far back as you can. What I mean is this - you have your ten birds, who all came from XX. If he or she developed them themselves, by doing crosses and breedings with other Wyandottes, then you are actually getting new genes if you go to another breeder.

    But if XX says "I got them from YY, and have never added any other stuff" then you have to find YY. And you have to find out where he or she got them. Let's say she got them from ZZ, who really did develop them. ZZ owned the founding individuals.

    When you go looking for new blood, you have to find somebody who does not ALSO have birds that are originally ZZ birds.

    A lot of the color varieties actually have very small gene pools - they're all ZZ birds when you get back far enough. So you're not decreasing your inbreeding very much by buying new stuff from anybody. You're just breeding to a cousin. At that point you need to either risk it with the cousin, hoping to get away from the beak genes (but not fooling yourself that you're actually outcrossing - you're just trying to pick a cousin who doesn't have beak problems) or you genuinely outcross by going to another color variety. You have to do your homework with the other color variety too, of course, in case those are ZZ birds as well.

    Your option 1 would work if the parents of the 10 were completely unrelated. In that case the uncle is probably going to be pretty different from the father. If, as is a lot more common in poultry, the parents of the 10 were themselves very closely related, then the uncle could be virtually a clone of the father and you're not getting any new genes.
     
  3. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2009
    Quebec
    Thank you for your answer! For the breeds I am working on, all of them come from a reputable breeder who works hard to import and has birds from different lines. So, in the birds I have there are different lines in each breed. So thankfully I do know what lines they are from and when and if I ever find new birds I can make sure they are not from those same lines.

    About the small gene pools, that is exactly what I was wondering about and I'm glad you commented on it.... Using Lav Orps as an example, buying stock from another breeder really does not make sense because they all come from the same place. Thankfully with Lavs you can breed to black and improve quality that way. This is what I am planning on doing with my blue orps.

    If I cannot get new blood in, let's say for the BLRWs, what can I do to try to make sure I do not get cross beakeds and other faults? Basically how can I make the best of what I have. How do breeders get around these issues? Multiple pens? This is what I am curious about, how do I breed them? Obviously I take the best of the offspring and cull the rest, but beyond that are there any secrets to it? Do you breed one pen and then breed those offspring to another, or would that be redundant?

    Thanks again [​IMG]
     
  4. BlacksheepCardigans

    BlacksheepCardigans Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 11, 2010
    Southeast NH
    Well... when it's beak in particular, what incubator are you using? Facial deformities are a classic incubation problem. If you're using a good incubator and your other breeds are hatching out with no beak problems, then you can be more sure that it's genetic.
     
  5. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2009
    Quebec
    Quote:Wasn't me that hatched them actually, but the person who did has a very new Sportsman, top of the line. No other cross beak problems that I know of. I believe it might be a breeding problem because it happened in just the BLRW and none of the other breeds, but of course that's just my opinion. I do know that the BLRW breeder has a few lines in there so perhaps it is an incubation problem. I will have to read more about it, I thought it was a genetic problem predominantly.
     

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