How Many Generations??

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by MamaDragon, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. MamaDragon

    MamaDragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2008
    Camden, AR
    Greetings All!

    while trying to think ahead here.....

    How many generations of hens can a Roo sire before you start seeing a decline in the flock?? Whether it be deformity, viability of hatchlings, fertility of eggs, etc.?

    In otherwords.... how often do I need to replace the rooster??

  2. wclawrence

    wclawrence Chillin' With My Peeps

    As in most cases, when dealing with matters of science, the answer to the question is: it depends.
    If your rooster does not have any "bad" traits that can be inherited by his daughters, then you can inbreed to him indefinitely. But you only want to do this with an outstanding specimen. Never do this with a bird that has anything at all wrong with him.

    Out of curiousity, are you planning on doing this, and if so, (sorry to ask) why?

    To me it seems like you have a lot less to worry about if you go ahead and change roosters, especially for the small backyard breeder.

    Best of luck to ya!
  3. MamaDragon

    MamaDragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2008
    Camden, AR
    Changing roo's is why I'm asking. If you need an outside roo every generation, every two generations, three, etc. That's what I'm trying to find out.

    We hope to maintain this flock for table meat and eggs indefinately, and I do know enough about genetics to know that using the same sire for several generations CAN cause reinforcement of bad traits that otherwise would not be present.

  4. tadkerson

    tadkerson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2008

    The 5 or 6 years you would use one rooster would not be a problem. After using the male a few years, I would pick out an exceptional male from the offspring to replace the breeding male. I always keep two males just in case one gets sick etc. If I had more room I would keep three. I always use the best male and keep the other as a back up.

    Inbreeding depression will show up as infertility in males or a low hatch rate with the eggs.

    Last edited: Sep 1, 2008
  5. wclawrence

    wclawrence Chillin' With My Peeps

    Easier than that, you can breed certain crosses for the purpose of making a broodcock, like when a rooster is old, if you still have a perfect aunt or niece or granddaughter or something like that, then breed them together and select the best rooster. This is a little different than inbreeding, and you can do it almost indefinitely.

    It is true that you can breed to a really good specimen for 5 or 6 generations. I would keep two generations of hens from him at a time, in case something bad pops up in any given years' chicks.

    It is not the end of the world if you get some bad birds when you do this, though. Inbred birds are obviously a lot more dominant in an outcross than outcrossed birds are. So if/when you do have to outcross, you will find that you get birds more like your inbred birds than you would have thought.

    Can I ask, what breed(s) are you breeding, or putting together? I like the idea of dual purpose birds. I love the Chanteclers, and Buckeyes, they seem to be nice dual purpose birds.

    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2008
    I have bred a strain of Rhode Island Red Bantams forover 20 years w/o bringing in any new blood. I line breed father/daughtr; mother/son & sometimes "cousin/cousin".
    This is the method used by virtually everyone who breeds for quality improvement. An out-cross [introducing new blood] if used at all is used very carefully with exact record keeping.
    BTW my fertility is 95% or so.
  7. 2manyhats

    2manyhats Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2008
    Central NY
    Such good info guys. I have just started up my flock again and was wondering about that with my different breeds. I have a trio of BB Orps. With only the one male, can I keep one or two of his sons next year as a back up sire. Is there any problem with breeding full siblings? I have small numbers of other breeds as well and was wondering about hatching my own of each of the breeds I deem most desirable.

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