Okay, maybe not so dumb, but if I open a can of worms, please don't yell at me. I was thinking about getting some roosters (if my current crop of chicks doesn't have any) and breeding to perpetuate my flock. It occurred to me that as I'm looking at the big hatcheries, I really don't know how diverse the genetics of chicks they sell. I mean, if I buy chicks from Hatchery X and breed them, how much inbreeding/line breeding goes into these birds? I mean, honestly, you can harm a breed by having a limited number of breeding pairs because of hereditary diseases. I understand this well, having been a dog breeder and show handler as well as a musher. I've been reading books about chickens and I read about the ALBC and the conservation status. The thought that a basic farm animal and food supply could need conserving boggles my mind. So, I'm just more or less asking ignorant and naive questions. Are chicken genetics endangered with becoming less diverse? Should I be looking to purchase chicks from difference sources to vary the genetics? How ugly is the concept of outcrossing or crossing two breeds together? I'm not planning on showing or becoming a big chicken breeder -- it's just something I want to sustain my own flock. Thanks for your comments. I look forward to learning.