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Hybrid Vigor Study

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by HaikuHeritageFarm, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. HaikuHeritageFarm

    HaikuHeritageFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just came across this interesting study about hybrid vigor in a meat rabbit breeding program:

    http://www.csiro.au/proprietaryDocuments/BreedMeans.pdf

    It basically suggests that there are no noticeable benefits to crossing breeds, but there can be significant benefits from hand picking the best individual animals, regardless of breed. (IE; crossing two inferior specimens of different breeds will not create superior offspring.)

    Has anyone seen similar studies for poultry? I know this same information also proves true with canines, so I'm curious if there are species where hybrid vigor as many seem to think of it truly exists.
     
  2. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    I have never been a big fan of the mixing and matching of breeds myself but we do have one pen of mixed chickens. I haven't noticed any major difference. I think what alot of people call hybrid vigor is careful and selective breeding.

    Steve
     
  3. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would just ask all the big poultry companies about hybrid vigor and crossing, some are crossed as many as four times. Not one commercial breed in the states is a pure breed.... not even the commercial white leghorn.

    To me that's proof enough. These people have billions to spend on their research.... way more than those who ran the rabbit study. With selective breeding and then a careful crossbreed between two breeds you get an amazing animal. You deal with rabbits... just look at the californian x NZ cross. One, if not the most popular crossbreed in rabbits.


    In dogs.... many mutts are healthier than the pure breeds that are out there and many live longer healthier lives. Hips, arthritis, cancer ect...


    However if any industry has it right the poultry industry does, what they have done to the modern chickens is beyond insane.... support it or hate it....
     
  4. HaikuHeritageFarm

    HaikuHeritageFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Brunty, I think you missed the point of my inquiry.

    What I found so fascinating about this study is that it basically completely disproved the fact that simply crossing two breeds makes for a superior animal, but this company (a large meat rabbit company in Austalia,) goes on to say that they did ultimately combine the best individuals of all breeds to get their super rabbits.

    If you carefully select the best individuals and are starting with superior animals, regardless of breed, that bring different things to the table, I definitely believe that you get "hybrid vigor"...

    With dogs, take a look at the small, popular "designer dogs". These also disprove hybrid vigor because very often, small breed dogs suffer from the same genetic maladies. Crossing two breeds still doubles up on those traits and, as a vet tech, some of the most genetically unhealthy dogs I have ever laid eyes on were cross breds.

    On the flip side, two carefully bred dogs that bring very different things to the table and have come from individually healthy lines can and does produce very healthy offspring.

    "Mutts" with multiple unidentifiable breeds are a toss up, and I do not consider them a hybrid.

    I guess I'm just saying, if you're not going to take the time to invest in and select good foundation stock, whether it is the same breed or different breeds, I don't believe you're going to come out on top just because of "hybrid vigor".
     
  5. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess I'm just saying, if you're not going to take the time to invest in and select good foundation stock, whether it is the same breed or different breeds, I don't believe you're going to come out on top just because of "hybrid vigor".

    I can agree to that... the hybrid vigor obviously will shine best if you take two separate breeds of great quality and cross them. But if you take a random flock of hatchery stock chickens regardless of breed.... say barred rocks just for conversation. If I took a commercial type layer and crossed it to the barred rock I would get offspring that would lay more eggs then the barred rock. Partly due to the genetic makeup of the commercial layer and partly due to hybrid vigor.

    But like you said... if I take a random rhode island red and a barred rock and cross them.... the notice may not be very much. Partially because the genetic makeup isn't there for a better layer.... really all hybrid vigor did in this situation was create another DP. I think you're on the right track but there is something to be said about hybrid vigor if it's done right.​
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2010
  6. koonaone

    koonaone Out Of The Brooder

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    The only hard and fast information on hybrid vigour I have deals with cattle. And horses, actually.

    It is well known and established in the beef cattle industry that if you cross Certain breeds of beef cattle (black angus and hereford, herford and shorthorn) you will surely get a calf that exhibits better survivability and growth characteristics than otherwise. The calves are not suitable breeding stock, they don't breed true. Chianinas, charolaise, etc are added in a rotational manner. This requires keeping more or less pure breeding herds of heifers so it's not for the backyard rancher.

    This isn't a random process and requires thought, but it is proven to produce significantly increased production. The essence is in the genetic seperatedness of the combining gene pools, quality for purpose being a given.

    For chickens, I'm not sure egg production would be amenable to this approach, but I'll bet meat production would.
     

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