Breeding without in-breeding?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Jessimash, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. Jessimash

    Jessimash Out Of The Brooder

    40
    0
    29
    Apr 14, 2015
    This spring I bought 2 Delaware breeder hens and a rooster from a local breeder who is now shutting down business. :( He no longer sells Delaware chickens, so I'm thinking it is going to be important that I get another rooster so that I can keep my Delawares going. I've done research, and realize that it is ok to breed daughters back to fathers and sons back to mothers. Here is what I am thinking about doing, and I am wondering if this would be a problem.

    I am considering separating my original 2 hens from the rest of the babies they have produced along with one of their sons. I will put the rest of the hens with my original rooster (their father). I will keep these two flocks separated. Now, later if I need to replace either one of my roosters, would it be safe to take from the opposite flock and breed back to the offspring I will be getting from the flock in which the rooster needs to be replace? I hope this makes sense...

    Group A Group B
    Rooster (father to all) Rooster (Son of the hens below and the rooster of Group A)
    Hens (daughters to rooster above and Hens (mothers to rooster above and hens in Group A)
    hens in Group B)


    If I need a new rooster, I would take from A and put with B or vice versa.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,136
    3,337
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    That will work but a more standard method is spiral breeding. That’s where you have three flocks instead of two, but it’s the same basic idea. Name each flock something, say A, B and C. The males rotate but the females always stay the same. Take your best male from A and put him over your best hens in B, your B male over the C females, C male over the A females. Any pullets stay in the same flock as their mommies, any males are candidates to go to the next flock. Of course there are some subtleties with this, but this is the basic idea. You might google “Spiral Breeding” to read some articles and get more details.

    There are other methods you could use to maintain some genetic diversity. All require keeping good records. You don’t really need to keep them separate except during breeding season either. Good luck with it.
     
  3. Jessimash

    Jessimash Out Of The Brooder

    40
    0
    29
    Apr 14, 2015
    Thank you. The spiral breeding is where I got this idea. Unfortunately, I don't yet have guilt-free room for more than two sets of breeders. :( Maybe next year sometime. The spiral breeding makes absolute sense when you start with roosters and hens that have no relation, but my main concern is that all of mine will be related in some way. I know that it is ok up to a point; I just want to be careful not to cross that.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by