breeding

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kezza1988, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. kezza1988

    kezza1988 New Egg

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    Hi all, i am new to this forum and new to owning chickens, basically my hen has laid 3 eggs so far and has not left the nest been laying a egg a day, my worry is that will her male chicks mate with her if i do not rehome them i am hoping to get my own rooster but i have read alot on the internet that breeding mother and son is really good to get good chicks but i really am lost on it all lol any info on what i need to do for hen and chicks would be greatly appreciated thanks
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Your eggs will not be fertile if you do not yet have a rooster. Did you raise her from a chick, or get her just recently? A lot of breeders breed mother to son, and father to dtr to fix genetic traits in their flocks. So, unless she has genetic problems to start with, you should be fine, if indeed you do have fertile eggs. Is she spending the night on those eggs as well???
     
  3. kezza1988

    kezza1988 New Egg

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    Hi sorry I should if said I have got her off of a friend who has previously used her for breeding once and I have only had her 5 days and she has previously been living with a another rooster in my friends flock and from what I gather he is a very randy rooster and they did the deed as such quite a lot lol
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I’m a little confused. Do you only have one hen? When a hen goes broody, she stops laying eggs. If she is spending all her time in the nest yet is still laying eggs, something just doesn’t sound right. Either she is not broody or another hen is laying those eggs in her nest.

    A hen stores sperm in a special container near where the egg starts its internal journey through the hen’s internal egg making factory. Eggs are normally fertile for two weeks after a successful mating.

    The inbreeding question gets tricky. Whether or not it is bad depends on what genetics are already in the chickens being inbred. If you have bad genes in the chickens those will be emphasized. If you have good genes those will be emphasized. What is bad to some people may be good to others. I like a variety of egg shell colors but if you are breeding to a standard, you want all the egg shell colors to conform to that standard.

    But I think what you are worried about is that you will be breeding freaks, deformed chickens. Inbreeding lessens genetic diversity. You need a certain amount of genetic diversity for a healthy flock. Over the generations as you inbreed you concentrate the genes in the flock. There are several different techniques you can use to keep genetic diversity up, spiral breeding, pen breeding, or occasionally introduce a new chicken (usually a rooster) into your flock as a few examples. There are other techniques.

    From a genetic diversity viewpoint, there is no difference in breeding a mother-son, father-daughter, or brother-sister. The reason you often see people pushing father-daughter or mother-son instead of brother-sister is that if you are trying to give certain traits to the offspring, you can control which of these traits are passed down better by breeding a superior chicken to their offspring. The traits you want will be better concentrated. But as far as making freaks, there is no difference genetically. It just depends on which genes are in the individual chickens involved.

    How do you handle all this in a small backyard flock? Select which chickens you want to breed. If a chicken has traits you don’t want in your flock, don’t allow it to reproduce. How you do that is up to you. Just keep your best chickens as breeders and you can usually go four of five generations before you start to have genetic problems in the flock as a whole. You may get an occasional problem, but these are the ones that don’t breed. Then you just bring in a new rooster and you are good to go for another four to five generations. That is one method farmers have used for thousands of years to keep small flocks with only one rooster.

    Welcome to the forum. I’m glad you found us and hope you stay active. But I’m still confused as to what is going on with that hen.
     
  5. kezza1988

    kezza1988 New Egg

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    hi, i bought the 2 chickens off of a friend of mine when we picked them up she said one had stopped laying about 2 weeks ago due to the weather getting cooler but the other one is still laying, she didn't lay for the first couple of day but has now laid 1 egg for the past 3 days and sits on them only coming off about 4-5 times a days to eat and drink (that we have seen) we have always planned having chicks at some point and are eager to do so this time round, will she lay a certain amount before before coming broody and thank you for the info its appreciated
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You never know when a hen will go broody. It’s something that can’t be controlled. I think some can be encouraged by leaving eggs or fake eggs in the nest but some will never go broody no matter what you do.

    My test to see if a hen is truly broody is what does she do at night? If she spends the night on the nest instead of roosting in her favorite spot for two consecutive nights then I consider her broody enough to give her eggs. Since you just got those one may be sleeping in the nest instead of being broody so that test may be hard for you to use.

    Normally a broody will come off the nest once, maybe twice a day to eat, drink, poop, and take a dust bath. Then she goes back to the nest and goes into her broody trance. These trips off the nest may take an hour each or may be as short as 15 minutes. The warmer the weather is, normally the longer she is off the nest.

    If that other hen has quit laying, it is because she is molting. Some chickens lose their feathers really fast when they molt and look real rough. Some lose their feathers slowly and you have trouble telling that they are molting just looking at them. If she is molting you will probably see some feathers flying around.

    It’s hard to say from here if she is broody or not. They normally don’t go broody this time of year north of the equator, though some do. They normally won’t go broody right after a move like that but it is possible. You might be better off getting some fertile eggs for her if she is broody instead of trying to use her eggs for that. Maybe from the place you got her. It’s important to start all the eggs at the same time for different reasons. If she is truly broody get some eggs from your friend, mark them so you know which ones belong, and check daily to remove any others that show up.
     
  7. nayeli

    nayeli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There absolutely is a difference in breeding mother and son versus brother and sister. Genetically sons will have 1/2 the genes of the mother and 1/2 of the father, so there will still be some genetic diversity. With brother and sister if they are from the same mother and father they will have the same genes.
     
  8. nayeli

    nayeli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most breeders to inbreed to a certain degree. It allows you to control the gene variance in your flock to breed for improved birds and specific qualities. When you bring a new rooster in there are many things you don't know about him genetically which is why most breeders try to avoid new roosters/new blood once they have established their line.

    You can read more about it online... I think I actually read a lot about it in stories guide.
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm sorry but I discussed this with one of the top experts in poultry genetics in the country. You are dealing with gene pairs, not individual genes. The math gets messy really quickly so I'm not going to try to go through it online but from a pure genetic diversity angle, there is no difference. The difference is that if the mother has certain traits that you want but the father is not as strong in those traits, you enhance the traits by increasing the influence of the mother by breeding mother to son.
     

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