Inbreeding Question


In the Brooder
11 Years
Sep 24, 2008
Southeast Oregon
New BYC addict, new chicken mom, and new to message boards so hope this question isn't too dumb.

I have 3 Black Stars and one of them actually went broody (nobody told her BS don't do that). I would like to get a roo to see if she'll hatch some babies next spring and increase the flock, but if I keep the hens and cull the roos, the flock sire will be breeding his own daughters as time goes on. In most critters that's asking for genetic disaster. What do people do when they have a flock with only one roo?


Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
15 Years
Feb 3, 2007
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
That is linebreeding, a perfecty acceptable way to do things. Its not exactly the same in chickens as some creatures. And you can even breed brother to sister, however, that intensifies traits, both good and bad.


In the Brooder
11 Years
Sep 24, 2008
Southeast Oregon
Thanks for the great advice. Didn't think 3 chickens would be such a learning curve (I read a book so now I'm an expert LOL) and you guys on BYC have been a BIG help.


11 Years
Feb 24, 2008
Carrollton, GA
I'm linebreeding all of my animals. If you keep a close eye on it and really plan your crosses, you can gradually eliminate unwanted genes and be left with only the best of what you started with. Later you may want to acquire new stock with other desirable traits, and start the process again only with the anticipation of being even better off than after the initial process. Wow, that almost makes no sense, and yet it's true.


11 Years
Jul 9, 2008
Western PA
Sire/daughter is not "linebreeding." It is inbreeding by any and all definitions of the term. Please explain how a mating could be any more inbred than parent/offspring.

Keep in mind that your black star is already a crossbreed. If you get a roo from an unrelated breed, you will produce offspring with maximum heterozygosity in that first generation. The heterozygosity is a good thing in terms of vigor and health -- but in terms of specific production traits, appearance, etc., you will be in a total crapshoot, and it will only get murkier as the generations go on.

In that case, you will probably be fine with a sire/daughter mating in that first generation.

If you started to get into territory where the grandsire/sire was breeding his own daughter/granddaughters -- then you are much more likely to see both homozygosity for undesirable autosomal recessives and the fallout of generalized inbreeding depression -- likely to manifest as low hatch, high chick mortality, poor growth, susceptibility to parasites and disease, poor laying and fertility.

One solution to both unpredictability and inbreeding depression is to only save eggs for hatching from the original hens, never from the daughters. The daughters can be your production team for eating eggs. Later, if you replace the roo with an unrelated bird, you can breed from the daughters too.

Or you could forgo the roo entirely, and buy hatching eggs of whatever birdies interest you, and just stuff those under the broody.

You might consider getting a roo from one of the black star parent breeds. A black star is a cross of a RIR or New Hamp roo and a barred rock hen. If you got a RIR or New Hamp roo and crossed with your black star hens, you'd probably get red high-yield layers. But if you do that, you may want to make a special point to avoid hatching eggs from the daughters, as you could see inbreeding depression earlier in the game.


Rest in Peace 1949-2012
11 Years
Aug 24, 2008
Southern Ohio
Yes your blackstars are a cross. No reason to breed them the young will never be as good as the mothers.

they cross the two breeds to make sex link. Easy to sex at day old. Breeding the cross just makes mutt chickens.

Yes some of the sex link do go broody.


Frugal Fan Club President
15 Years
Jan 20, 2008
Linebreeding is inbreeding, but usually refers to animals being bred with common ancestors, like cousins . . . a bit farther away from each other in genetics than sire/daughter or brother/sister. Not that there's anything necessarily wrong with breeding those in the shorter term, but it's not really considered linebreeding when they're that closely related.
If I were you, I'd contemplate finding eggs to put under the broody to incubate, especially since one rooster among 3 hens might cause some difficulties. A rooster can do quite a bit of damage to hens if he happens to be of an amorous disposition.
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12 Years
Jan 14, 2008
Not sure where folks above got their info on linebreeding but they're wrong. father/daughter,mother/son matings are the basis of line breeding in poultry. Do some simple research on the subject. Don't take my word for it-or anyone else's for that matter.


11 Years
Jul 2, 2008
West TN
Hi Ol'Biddy!

Good luck with the genetics thing...I am trying to learn something about it myself!


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