Inbreeding, line breeding, etc...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by iamcuriositycat, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I am getting ready to breed this Spring, with a specific goal in mind. I have read Holderread's Storey's Guide, of course, many many times, and done lots of online research. But one thing I haven't seen a lot of information about is how much inbreeding is okay, and when it's necessary to outcross, and best methods for doing so... and so on.

    For instance, is it okay to breed siblings to each other? What about father/daughter mother/son etc breedings? How large a flock is a large enough gene pool to prevent problems?

    Anyone else breeding for specific goals? What are your goals, and how do you avoid overly inbreeding?

    Thanks for any tips & thoughts & suggestions for resources!
     
  2. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    I talked to Dave Holderread about this very thing when I last saw him. He said they did a few inbreeding experiments and found that around the 6th or 7th generation is when they started seeing major problems. I can't remember off the top of my head what else he said, but that stood out.

    I really need to have a notebook for all the questions I want to ask him if I ever get back down there again. We end up talking about so many things and then on the way home I start thinking, "Darn, I shoulda asked such and such."

    I have this book on order: Ducks and Geese a Guide to Management by Tom Bartlett. Here's the blurb:
    "Describing the techniques he employs in the management of his own collection of domestic waterfowl, Tom Bartlett shows how easy and enjoyable it can be to keep ducks and geese successfully. He covers the difficulties involved in breeding the perfect show specimen, and comments on the wide range of breeds he has kept. Illustrated throughout with many pictures of his own birds and with sections on fencing and equipment, incubation and rearing, routine management, showing, handling, sexing and sickness, this is a thoroughly practical book for keepers of ducks and geese."

    I also have this one on order: The Domestic Duck by Chris Ashton. Here's the blurb:
    Most domesticated ducks are descended from the wild mallard, and over the centuries many different breeds have been created. They have been kept as pets or for their ornamental value, or have been farmed for their meat, eggs, and down. Chris and Mike Ashton explain how these breeds have been developed and how to look after them. They cover the different breeds, detailing their origins and characteristics; they list classic ducks from all over the world; and explore the "designer: ducks of the 20th century. Management of adult stock, breeding and rearing ducklings, and common problems and ailments are also covered in this comprehensive book for breeders, keepers, and those who exhibit ducks or have a general interest in ducks.

    I'm hoping one of these will detail more what I want to know. I'm having an awful time finding info on the net. What about you?
     
  3. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    Thanks, rainplace! That's good to know about the 6th or 7th generation--so I guess around the 4th or 5th you start outcrossing, right? I would love to get to talk to Dave Holderread--I'm jealous!!

    Let me know if either of those books tell you what you want to know. I am having trouble online just like you--there just doesn't seem to be that much info out there about this topic. I wish Holderread would write a book exclusively on breeding. He has breed bulletins, which I have copies of, but they don't really provide the kind of in-depth genetics & line breeding info I want. I know he must *know* that stuff--I wish he would put it all in a book! Because I'm SURE he doesn't have enough to do with himself on his farm. [​IMG]
     
  4. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unfortunately, there is no way to answer some of your questions. A lot depends on what exactly you are trying to do.

    Yes, inbreeding and line breeding can be done. It is done fairly regularly to establish breeds and new or rare varieties. There is no way to really say how much is too much. Again, it depends so much on what you are trying to do. If you are trying to develop something completely new that there is nothing reasonable to outcross to, then it would be more reasonable to continue inbreeding or line breeding for a few generations. If it is something that is easy to do an outcross with like if you are just adding genes to an existing color or pattern, then by all means- do as minimal inbreeding as possible.

    Personally, I try to do it as infrequently as possible. I am working on several breeding projects right now and just about all of them, I have multiple pairs. It is something that I am a lot of times reluctant to even talk about for numerous reasons. I have found that it is sometimes best to get the advice of a few people and not unveil your project until it is at least in the final stages of being a work in progress.
     
  5. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You guys will love that book, The Domestic Duck. It is so interesting, especially the sections on how all the breeds were developed. Nothing I have seen really talks in depth about how to responsibly do inbreeding and line breeding. Word to the wise though- I would highly suggest outcrossing before generation 4-5 if at all possible. There are so many breeds and varieties these day, I can't imagine what variety would require inbreeding for that long.

    Also, none of these books I have read are really like recipe books for developing new breeds and varieties. They will give you a good basic foundation for how to do it, but a lot of it you will have to figure out on your own (especially if you are doing something completely new).
     
  6. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    I really appreciate this post. I mean THREAD!!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2009
  7. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    Greencastle, Indiana
    im planning on line breeding but i read on here somewhere cant fine where there was a difference b/t the two and i dont remember off the top of my head b/c line breeding is like if you had so and so A's line and you breed them to a different unrelated bird from so and so A's line that is line breeding i think and father/daughter is inbreeding im planning on doing both to try to get a little more uniform bib size on my swedes. but i hope that helped it may not of and im sorry if it didnt
     
  8. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    hrmmm, I thought line-breeding was You have A-hen A-drake they mate and their offspring is B, Then you mate B back to A and those offspring are C. You can then mate C to A ... and so on. There's something else that happens off the A line or B line that you breed back in later on, I think...

    Am I way off the mark?
     
  9. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    btw Ducks and Geese a Guide to Management by Tom Bartlett I got it a read it today... nothing of interest for this thread... Holderread's book is much much better.
     
  10. Not sure this applies to ducks but I would guess it would. I get goat milk from a guy who used to also raise pigs. He says he finds he get the best results from breeding cousins. He says it gives them hybrid vigor.
     

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