Hatcheries and breeding pairs

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by starfroggie, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. starfroggie

    starfroggie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2008
    Walla Walla
    I am curious about something. How many breeding pairs on average do hatcheries keep? When you order chicks, what is the general number of brothers/sisters do you get? Since chicks don't tend to have pedigrees this is a question that has been on my mind lately. How do you know if you are breeding siblings?
     
  2. GwenFarms

    GwenFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 26, 2008
    Big hatcheries don't have breeding pairs. Big farms have a ratio of many hens to each rooster and they all run free in a big barn. Brother/Sister ratio is not really an issue in chickens. If it matters to you, I'd say the chance of you have related chicks is one in several thousand.
     
  3. starfroggie

    starfroggie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2008
    Walla Walla
    Well I guess this answers my other question too about what would happen if you did have a breeding pair that were brother/sister. So no concern about inbreeding with chickens? Could that be why missing eyes or other strange things happen?
     
  4. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    I was curious about this, too. I assumed my hatchery chicks were related, but what you said makes total sense. The big farms are what supplies hatchery eggs, right?
     
  5. poltroon

    poltroon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2008
    California (North Coast)
    Quote:I don't quite follow this. Many hens to a few roosters suggests to me that in any particular batch there'd be some number of half-siblings at least.
     
  6. GwenFarms

    GwenFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its really just not an issue with chickens. Most problems are caused by improper egg development. This happens when eggs aren't turned just right, or environment changes. Really if you consider the amount of chicks hatched compared to the amount of defects its very minimal.

    I'll try to simplify what I was saying in my last post. Large scale barns house thousands of chickens. Just as in your backyard each rooster has his own flock of hens,he has a flock in the barn. The chances of you getting related chicks out of the thousands and thousands of eggs that are shipped our weekly is relatively slim.

    All of this takes place in different barns. In one barn the chickens mate and lay eggs. The eggs are gathered twice, or three times, daily and are shipped from that barn, or usually several of those barns, to the hatchery to be incubated. They are then shipped to you. Your chicks may not be from the same tray of eggs, or from the same barn, or even the same farm.

    However even if you were to breed siblings unintentionally it wouldn't have an adverse effect. Chickens are not complex animals, but I know that, particularly if these are your pets, it has a bad ring to it. In the farming industry line breeding has been practiced for centuries, most likely forever. This is a way of breeding superior animals by breeding bloodline back to bloodline. Its done with horses, cows and most any other farm animal I'm sure. Your chickens will be fine, even if they mix a little blood.

    Hope this cleared things up a bit.
     

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