Father/daughter or brother/sister breeding

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Donna75964, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. Donna75964

    Donna75964 In the Brooder

    Aug 12, 2009
    Hi, I was given some eggs a couple of years ago that I put under a broody hen and she hatched. Out of that I got a Cochin hen and rooster. I keep them together and away from all other chickens because I want their chicks to be pure cochin. I now have multiple cochin hens and roosters....want to get rid of roosters but can't bring myself to eat them....which I love having. My question is this, is it ok to breed the hens to their father or brothers? I'm a little worried about too much inbreeding. Any suggestions would be appreciated.



  2. LBKS

    LBKS Songster

    Mar 1, 2013
    Louisburg, KS
    There are some breeding patterns out there that involve some parent-child breeding, but my understanding is that if you can possibly help it you never want to do sibling-sibling breeding because of the high degree of inbreeding. On the math side of things, you can find how to calculate how inbred your animals may be by the "coefficient of relationship" or "inbreeding coefficient" as search terms. I like this link: http://www.genetic-genealogy.co.uk/Toc115570144.html

    If you don't want to do the math, this has a table that gives you some one off idea of what breeding options are the most inbred out of what you have. Just look at the "r" column -- you want that number to be low. Just keep in mind that if your birds are already inbred, their offspring actually have higher "r" inbreeding relationship values than depicted in that table.

    I'm struggling to remember some other terms, but two spring to mind: "line breeding" and "rotational breeding" (I think it might also be termed spiral breeding?) I think might turn up more of what you are looking for. I'd personally want new blood in rather than doing parent/child or sibling/sibling pairs, especially if you plan on breeding their offspring together going forward as your source of birds.

    Personally I liked the idea of pens where the pullets from the pen that were selected were placed back into their originating pen. The cockerels from a pen would be used on the pen next to them in the ordering. So you slowly rotate the breeding and keep a good minimum degree of relation for the birds being bred. I haven't any real experience with this yet as I'm just getting started this year though. So I'd wait for the experts to weigh in :)
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    In basic chicken breeding, the pullets are placed back under their sire, the father. The best of the cockerels are placed back over their dams (mothers).

    One tries to avoid the brother-sister mating if at all possible.
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging 8 Years

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I do all sorts of breeding arrangements (line breeding, outbreeding and inbreeding) depending on the purpose or desired outcomes. When you start considering breeding arrangements, then you are dealing with a long-term endeavor where more than a year is often required to evaluate the products of single breeding effort / season and will in all likelihood involve multiple pairings each year. Realizing changes you desire may take many generations. If you are willing to invest such time and effort, then breeding arrangements will be important, otherwise relax and let them breed as you like or simply swap birds of desired qualities you like.
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