Breeding and In-breeding

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Gooter, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. Gooter

    Gooter Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 19, 2010
    central VA
    I don't spend a lot of time on BYC so if this has been covered, forgive me for the repeat. But I've realized how much inbreeding there really must be when it comes to 'small chicken operations' - or backyard chicken breeding. So that, if you go to someone who has maybe 2 or 3 hens and a rooster and you either get hatching eggs or buy chicks, and then end up breeding a rooster with hens from that batch, obviously there's going to be some inbreeding. And who knows where the original parents were from.

    I'm not bashing that this happens (or maybe I should) but it's just an observation, and I haven't heard anyone speak of it either locally or on the net. What got me thinking about it is that I recently got a couple ducks. I did NOT get them to breed, and I do not intend to raise any ducklings from them. But they are from a single drake and possibly 2 different hens. I am pretty sure I have a male/female. So to breed them intentionally would be in-breeding, and any stock from them crossed together would make it even more so. Is this just the way it is with poultry?

    I do have chickens that I've been hatching out eggs from but my hens are pure breeds and my roos that I've used, which I got from entirely different places, are completely unrelated and of different breeds. I know they're absolutely not going to be in-bred chicks. I would not intentionally hatch out eggs from any of the resultant chicks unless they have been with a different rooster. Am I nuts? Am I just mis-informed? Is it pretty okay with poultry? Common? I'm asking out of curiosity only. I will do with my poultry what I will do, and what other people do is up to them. I do not and have no intention to show my birds or create an arguement. I just want them to be as healthy as possible, so I will intentionally keep things 'clean' so to speak. And I truly hope that me asking this does not stir up a big to-do. I'm really just curious about this. Kind of new to the whole thing. Can someone educate me a little? Thanks!
     
  2. aShMaNv

    aShMaNv Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2010
    Choctaw, OK
    I honestly don't know a lot about the subject. I know that it has a lot to do with what you are trying to do. If I had a laying flock, I personally would have not only a cock that is not related to the hens, but of a totally different breed that will compliment the other. This creates hybrid vigor. The offspring will be more productive and hardy. This is simple genetics. As for the inbreeding, I think it is going to be used by breeders to ingrain certain traits into their strain. However, when doing this the breeder has to be very careful because it could also ingrain bad traits into the offspring that could take years to correct. Now there is also line breeding. You may already be aware of what it is, but it is where you breed daughters to their fathers, and/or sons to their mothers. Like I said, this can really concentrate good genetics, and bad ones as well. I have read that you want to avoid brother/sister matings. But I have heard of people saying you could breed brother and sister for a generation before introducing new blood. I have not done this personally with chickens, but do line breed with my registered hereford cattle. However with my commercial cattle herd, I use not only a unrelated bull, but a bull of a different breed to obtain all of the hybrid vigor I can. Hope this helps somewhat. [​IMG] Hopefully a breeder with much more insight and information than me will come along and fill in all the blanks for you.
     
  3. southernsickles

    southernsickles Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 10, 2010
    Arkansas
    We breed all of our birds for exhibition.We line breed every year.As was said in the last post,We breed father to daughter and mother to son.We can do this for several years without adding any new blood.The only way this works is to start out with the very best stock in the beginning.When we do add new blood it is from the same family of birds not from an outside source.We usually go at least 5 generations before you notice any drop in production or hatchability.by breeding this way we are getting more of the original breeder birds traits each year coming out in their offspring.
     
  4. skylinepoultry

    skylinepoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2011
    Old Fort, Tn.
    You will notice a HUGE difference when you pull a different breed in for vigor or project. Its crazy how much healthier the chicks are and how much faster they grow and feather out. You just have to be real careful if your just wanting to add new blood this way and not knock out the original traits of the breed. Takes years to bring all this back into play. But to answer your question directly. No (personally) I would not inbreed at all unless its new blood from the same breed and then you can only do it so long. Generation breeding is something to think about as well. You can ( for example) breed mother and son together and keep the original father out of the equation for 3 or more generations and then come back to him some time down the road or vice versa. The main goal is to keep the breed from going concrete and hardening into unwanted traits. These are just my opinions. [​IMG]
     
  5. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

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    You state that you're not interested in showing your birds & that's clearly the case since you're crossing 2 different breeds. For your purposes, simply making chickens, your approach will serve you fine.
    However, for someone interested in showing or simply continuing or improving a breed a different approach is needed. Most accomplished breeders, of anything, will line breed. Another poster stated he line breeds cattle. I line breed dogs as well as poultry.
    There are many misconceptions about line breeding, most put forth by people with no breeding experience. The most common misconception is the need to add "new blood" every 3-5 years. In my opinion, line breeding done properly never requires the addition of "new blood". I've bred a line of Rhode Island Red Bantams for 23 years now w/o adding "new Blood". The birds continue to hatch well, lay well & show well. I've attended only one show so far this year & had the Show Champion on a Red cock bird from this line.
    Being a judge & having been involved in showing for a long time I know a lot of the more prominant breeders. They all line breed.
     
  6. Gooter

    Gooter Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 19, 2010
    central VA
    Wow, thanks for all the very interesting (and educational) replies! I guess it seemed strange to me because of being exposed to the way it's shunned for people to mix within family. In people, apparently a lot of 'inbreeding' creates physical/mental defects/handicaps. But the history is that people used to 'line breed' all the time...way back when. It kept the royal blood pure. I mainly wondered if mixing within the same lines would produce defects, and apparently it won't, to the extent I was thinking. So again, thank you all so much for your input! Very interesting!
     
  7. southernsickles

    southernsickles Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 10, 2010
    Arkansas
    As far as breeding brother to sister I have never done this so I really cant give an opinion on that.With our line breeding we do stay with what we have.I have 3 different families of black oe's and 3 different families of bb red oe's.If I see a drop off in any area I will add a member from another family to the family in question.They all work together.This way they are not so tight bred that we have any long term problems.I cant say myself how this works on other breeds.
     

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