Controlling In-Breading??

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Kirtus, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. Kirtus

    Kirtus In the Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2013
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Prior to last night we believed we had 33 coturnix quail 5 male and 28 female. Over the last few weeks we have been noticing our Hens seem to be being harassed more that one might expect with that roo to hen ratio. And we have been wondering if maybe the breeder that sold us the birds was not as fastidious as I was when checking the sex of the birds. So last night I decided to check each birds sex and low and behold we actually had 9 roo's and 24 hens. So we decided to separate out the males and put them in our extra coop that we built for growing out our bird between brooder and freezer camp.
    Then for the next 3 hours they proceeded to crow constantly. The really did not seem to like living with out the hens. We were already thinking about getting some eggs from a breeder in east Michigan to cut down on in-breading and culling our male birds from our local breeder. So after not being able to sleep because of the noise we made the final decision to cull all of the males and we will work this weekend to make our incubator and maybe try to get some eggs started. This will give my girls some time to recover from the abuse our miscalculation caused and allow us ensure the health of future generations.
    My question to all of you is how do you all rotate your flock to lesson in-breading?
     
  2. chrishw

    chrishw Chirping

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    Jul 9, 2013
    Yumm, quail in-bread, I'd love that recipe!

    Seriously though, I am very curious about the answers too, I think many of the breeders round here in Appalachia family trees looks like a telephone pole, and their quail's breeding likely isn't much different. I wish I could find some quality native stock and work up a plan, maybe a few if us just can do an egg swap sometime?
     
  3. buttonquailtx

    buttonquailtx Chirping

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    Jun 19, 2013
    Texas
    Inbreeding doesn't usually cause any issues until about the 3rd generation. The easiest way to control this if you have a single color flock is to get eggs from someone with a different color. For example, if your flock is all A&M whites, then buy eggs from someone who has jumbo browns or tuxedos.

    If you have a mixed flock, check around for another breeder who obtained their flock from a different source than your original flock.

    In breeding isn't always bad. That is how we ended up with so many color varieties. The main thing to watch out for is small chicks, bad hatch rates, and adult birds that seem to have stunted growth. If you get any of these, and are sure it's not due to incubation issues, then it's time to replace some or all of your brood stock.

    And an egg swap sounds like a very good idea. Just keep records of whom you swapped with.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Kirtus

    Kirtus In the Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2013
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Thanks ButtonQuailTX
     
  5. chrishw

    chrishw Chirping

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    If you only allow 2nd cousins or less to breed inbreeding will be at 2% or less.(paraphrased from an academic paper I read)

    So, in a open breeding situation, and unless you cull out some female brood, you'd need either a huge population or a managed breeding program.

    For a realistic breeding, since 2% is probably unattainable for most of us, the population must be large enough that 5 to 10% of the breedings are second cousins or less- so that means no mutual great-grandparents or less. I guess with a strict breeding program you can accomplish this with 30 or so birds, of course that's assuming most of these are from different sources or a huge breeding operation. If you have got 50 birds from the same breeder down the road likely they have been in-breeded too much already.


    Interestingly enough, to maintain a stronger gene pool you don't want to only breed towards the largest birds or perticular colors, you can do this too, but if you just do this you often are only selecting simular gene sequences and are breeding out other variations that might add disease resistance etc.

    That said, I'm referring to a perfect system, but it does show just how much many of us are perhaps not allowing enough diversity in our flocks. I see that I've been terrible and i'm debating culling out most of my males next spring and trying to get maybe 10 different family males.

    A egg swap might be a great idea next spring, or a couple swaps lol


    I've been doing this with my bees by keeping at least 10 different queen petigrees, and trying to buy from at least 2-3 new lines each year but queen bees breed once in their lives, well, during a week or so with maybe 3-5 different drones so you get around 5 different gene sets in a single queen/hives. If I where to try to do the same level of diversity in my birds, I'd probably need 50+ different lines which is cost prohibitive...

    Maybe someone could do the statistics, in an open population, how many birds would we need to keep the chance of 2nd cousins or less breeding to be under 10%?

    Sorry for my bad joke earlier. Hope I didn't hurt your feelings Kirtus, but this is a very interesting question!
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Kirtus

    Kirtus In the Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2013
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I learned a long time ago not to take teasing about my appalling spelling to heart. I laughed probably as much if not more than anyone else reading the joke.

    As far as your feedback on the topic at hand, thank you. This will help me guide my decisions as I grow my flock.
     

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