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Breeding methods

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Steve_of_sandspoultry, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. There seems to be alot of misconceptions about breeding poultry. Unless you are breeding totaly unrelated stock you are inbreeding. When some read the word inbreeding they think of two headed turkeys with 6 legs, that only happens in the movies and circus side shows. I'm not going to go into breeding unrelated stock since we know how that works.

    Lets start with line breeding - line breeding is controled inbreeding (key word - controled). Careful record keeping is key with any breeding method. Here is an example of a line breeding chart.


    As you can see you can go generations without having to add new "blood", this is how breeders have kept closed flocks for many many years. If you start with unrelated stock, for example 3 pairs of turkeys and see on the 5th generation where you add new blood - that new blood comes from another pair of your own turkeys.

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011

  2. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    Thanks Steve! That graph finally made it all make sense.
  3. bigdawg

    bigdawg AA Poultry

    Jun 28, 2009
    middle tenn
    i introduce new blood every five years. some of my best birds come from years three and four. that goes for my chickens also. i just do what is best for me. the offspring speaks for itself.....
  4. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Crowing

    Mar 9, 2008
    Hahira, GA
    this is very much needed Steve, I too have seen a lot of odd stuff and half truths about breeding. Now folks will have a thread to come to for a quick reference to their breeding questions,
    Thanks for starting this.

    the chart is a great way to show how it works too
  5. Frosty

    Frosty Songster

    Mar 30, 2008
    Thank you for posting that again Steve, this time maybe I will remember to print it out to keep for future reference [​IMG]

    Editing to add: great timing too, now that breeding season is around the corner but still far enough into the future to allow for planning!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2011
  6. DuckLady

    DuckLady ~~~Administrator~~~BYC Store Support Staff Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    Let's stay on topic relative to this thread please.

    Thanks Steve, that made it easy for even me to follow! [​IMG]
  7. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    hi Steve, nice to find you over here too. I didn't realize you were such a Turkey Guru, please plan on a lot of questions from me in over the next few months. [​IMG]

  8. Ask away Katy, there are lots of people that speak "turkey" here and can help. [​IMG] The biggest thing with any breeding program is your records have to be correct. A few generations down the line the wrong bird in the wrong slot can really mess it up. We use numbered wing bands on the birds and also colored zip ties for the year. You can't see the numbers on the wing bands without catching the bird but the zip ties help narrow it down so you don't have to go thru every bird one by one.

  9. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Thanks for posting the graph Steve but I"m lost. [​IMG] And it's not your fault, it's my fault. [​IMG] I am clueless when it comes to graphs, directions, etc. It's difficult for me to understand all of that. [​IMG] I will have to study the graph, take notes and post questions for you. I'm sure that I will grasp it before the end of the year. [​IMG]

    ETA: My problem right now is that I have a Tom (my boy in my avatar) who has bred 2 other females and they had babies. Now the Tom is breeding with his daughters. Will his daughter's eggs be fertile? Is this line of breeding ok? Also, my older tom fathered a male. Is it ok for that younger male to breed with his sisters or step-sisters (from the other hen) or not? Now do you see how lost I am? [​IMG] When do you suggest I "switch out" my tom for another tom (although I really don't want to). [​IMG]

    I only understand landmarks and examples. I don't do well with graphs. I know I'm "special". [​IMG] Any help would be appreciated.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011
  10. Quote:Yes you are linebreeding and the eggs will be fertile and the poults will be just fine. You are starting your 3rd generation. The thing is at this point you don't know which older hens the young hens came from. That is something you need to know. Let me back up just a little, of your original trio do you know if they were related?

    From a pair of breeders the first offspring (2nd generation) will be a 50/50 mix of the parents. On the next breeding to make the 3rd generation. The females from the 2nd gen will be bred to the original tom and the males to the original hen - that is going to give you a 3/4 mix or a 1/4 mix depending on if you look at it from the male or female side. I'll pause at that and let you read this before we go on.


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