Inbreeding: Good or bad idea?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by stefan333, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. stefan333

    stefan333 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wasn't exactly sure where to post this, so I hope it's in the correct section...

    I want to breed my less common chicks when they get of age. I can always pick up my egg laying BR and BO's at TSC, but some of my chicks such as Lavender Orps are difficult to find, expensive, and frankly I don't want to incubate again for a while, and trying to bid on ebay is just annoying. I have a batch of 9 beautiful Lavender Orps right now -6 pullets and 3 cockeriels. I know the breeder used two different lines (and good ones) to breed these chicks, so my question is: Is it a bad idea when they get older if I breed them to each other, or do I need to do the daunting task of finding another rooster unrelated to my Lavenders. I don't plan on showing them, but I also don't want any issues with fertility or some other major defect, and I don't want to introduce any of that yucky brown color that I've seen leaking through some of the other Lavender Orps on ebay. I have seen some diagrams of how to breed within a flock, but for starting out purposes is it okay to breed brothers and sisters? Any other suggestions? And please don't get too technical with the genetics, it makes my brain hurt.[​IMG]
     
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  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Unless you get another rooster you'll have no choice. You won't want to do that but one generation. You might know right away which are bro-sis pairings if the chicks are weak.
    I had to gamble with my Penes. I know they came out of 2 different pens but I had no way of knowing which were brother and sister.
    After the first generation, breed your best rooster to his daughters, grand-daughters and so forth and the best hen/s to the best son and start 2 lines, then several generations down, cross the lines.

    If you can't get a roo, maybe get an unrelated hen and start 2 lines from scratch with her.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Line breeding is pretty common with the serious breeders, it's how you set the good traits in the offspring. Breed the best to the best, always. If you're starting with good stock, you'll be fine for several generations. It's considered best to breed offspring back to parent vs breeding siblings, but siblings are okay if you've no other choice.
     
  4. stefan333

    stefan333 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the suggestions. It's extremely helpful, and now I don't feel extremely paranoid about doing it at least to start with.
     
  5. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    It's really unlikely that many of them have exactly the same parents. The hatcheries hatch eggs from a bunch of hens penned with 1 or more roosters. So it's most likely that they don't have the same mommas at least. Line breeding involved breeding father to daughter then granddaughter etc. and same for the other side: Mother to son, etc.

    Direct brother to sister matches are avoided not because it's an automatic death sentence or because you'll get 3 headed chicks, but only because any undesirable genetics will be reinforced. Many old breeders do and did pair brother and sister together because they knew exactly what that line carried and so could afford the chance.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Echo Homestead
    I was always told: "it's line breeding if it works, its inbreeding if it doesn't" [​IMG]

    Some times its a necessary evil, but siblings should be avoided at all costs, like galanie was saying. Maybe breed out when they're old enough and then next cycle pick up another roo so you're slowly shuffling in new genetics and there'd be plenty of time to catch a swap meet or find something on craigslist?

    I'm glad you asked this, because i've been wondering too. especially when trying to force certain genetic traits with a small base population, such as a back yard flock.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    That was my Dad's saying, too!

    Right up there with "Chickens will eat anything that doesn't eat them first".
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Look up spiral breeding. You are set up perfectly for it. Start with one cockerel and two pullets in each of the three breeding groups and go from there.
     
  9. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

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    Successful breeders, by which I'm referring to people who show their birds & win regularly in stiff competition, will all advise you to line breed. That's how all of those breeders produce their winning birds.
    Many people on this site with little or no breeding experience & certainly no history of producing winning birds will advise you to avoid line breeding & to regularly bring in "new blood".
    In reality adding "new blood' or out crossing as it is sometimes known is the best possible way to screw up a line of poultry.
    When you breed within a line you know what you're working with, with an Outcross there's no way to know what genetic material is hidden & how it will work with your bloodline.
    There may, at times, be a reason to out cross but it is always done on a very limited & controlled manner involving careful record keeping.
    There's a good book, now out of print unfortunately, titled "Start Where You Are With What You Have". It's a great introduction to line breeding & if you can find a copy it will be well worth having. Beyond that there's alot of good informaation on line breeding. Some on this site & lots in other places. Do a google search & you'll find lots of info.
     
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Some of the cockfighting sites have a lot if info on linebreeding. They're mostly in Thailand and the Philipines.
    I don't condone that but most of what is known about linebreeding, we owe to thousands of years of cockfighting.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013

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