Breeding groups - What would you do?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by suburbfarmgirl, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. suburbfarmgirl

    suburbfarmgirl In the Brooder

    Sep 24, 2013
    I have just ordered 52 jumbo coturnix quail eggs from a breeder. The birds are from three distinct breeding groups. I would like to keep the nicest birds from this hatch as breeders. All the eggs were collected on one day and I think the chances any of them are full siblings is next to nothing, and probably very few are even half siblings, being from three different breeding groups at a large breeder.

    I plan to have two pens that are about 12 sq ft each to keep breeders/layers. (Extra males I can grow out in another space). How would you keep these birds for breeding to help with genetic diversity as much possible? Should I divide them into two groups and swap the males each generation?

    I could take the F2 male offspring from pen 1 and put them in pen 2 so they are not breeding their mothers. And take the F2 female offspring from pen 1 and put the F1 males from pen 2 in with them since they've been replaced by the new males... I'm sure its simpler written out as a flow chart...

    Anyway...I'm curious what someone experienced would do with this set up! Of course I can always add in new stock every once in a while, but I'd like to do whatever I can with what I have!

    The goal here: The birds are just for family egg and meat production. So I plan to hatch out fertile eggs, mostly for meat, every 8 weeks or so. Then I'll need to replenish my layers and breeders once a year or so.

    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  2. James the Bald

    James the Bald Songster

    Jan 6, 2013
    Just follow your plan. I replied to a similar thread about line breeding, and there was a study that followed 17 generations. The only issues of this study was a decrease in fertility after 13 generations. If you plan on adding new stock every couple of years, then you should have no problems.
    Good luck, oh, and welcome to Quail Breeders Anonymous; the only group to support your addiction to breeding quail.
    1 person likes this.
  3. dc3085

    dc3085 Crowing

    James is right on the money. I've poked at the limits of the inbreeding envelope and believe me unless you are trying to accomplish a specific goal like I was, you won't see any problems. Avoid subsequent sibling pairings and keep your control group "sterile" so if you do have an issue you can just pull good genetics back out of P1 to straighten out your line.

    I had innumerable parent x offspring crosses and more than a few sibling pairings and the last I was experiencing a reduction in fertility/hatchability but I was still pulling over 50% out of most groups (my genetic project was eaten in it's entirety last year by a raccoon :/). Other than a decrease in hatch rate I saw no other ill effects of inbreeding.

    The rooster looking at the camera was the product of a sibling pairing and had at least one parent x offspring cross among his recent grandparentage. He was a staple of my color project. I couldn't count how many chicks I hatched off of him.
    1 person likes this.

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