Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chad, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. chad

    chad In the Brooder

    Jul 29, 2007
    Pittston, Maine
    We haven't actually incubated any eggs, we've had hens to do that for us. The second generation of chicks has just been born on our farm. You may recall that the rooster who sired the first batch, Fancy, was grabbed by a coyote last year. Our new guy, Spike, is doing us proud. But here's a question:

    Do we need to be concerned about Spike fertilizing his daughter's eggs? Do the same problems of inbreeding arise among chickens as are seen among mammals? If we want to keep raising chickens au naturel, will we need to re-home Spike and get another rooster?
  2. championny

    championny Songster

    Mar 21, 2008
    Saint Johns, AZ
    i have heard this posed before, but I am sure it doesn't matter. Mother's and sons, father's and daughters, brothers and sisters can be mated. The only thing that could happen is unwanted traits that would disqualify a bird for a show if you showed them.
  3. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Do a search for Line Breeding...... this will help clear a lot of it up, though even after reading all the posts, I still find myself somewhat confused [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. ginasmarans

    ginasmarans Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    West Tn
    My uncle raised chickens and he said you could breed father/daughter or mother/son with no problems but should breed sister/brother only one generation.
  5. KKluckers

    KKluckers Time Out

    Sep 4, 2007
    Quote:This is exactly what I have heard!
  6. Plain_View_Farm

    Plain_View_Farm Songster

    Apr 5, 2008
    Central Virginia
    So, would this would apply to all poultry? Geese? Turkey? Ducks?

  7. willheveland

    willheveland Songster

    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    You won't have to replace spike,he can fertilize his daughters eggs.Chickens aren't affected like mammals.
    One thing for sure is if you get bad traits or deformities those birds should be culled.Try your best to keep your flock healthy.
    A friend has a strain of birds that hasn't seen new blood in over 65 years. Will
  8. McSpin

    McSpin Songster

    Jun 1, 2007
    South Western NY
    There are a lot of generalizations about inbreeding that are not very accurate. When you inbreed, even brother to sister, you are simply narrowing the gene pool. In the process, you end up with a lot more homologous pairs of genes (identical genes at the same gene location). Many undesirable traits are recessive and this doubling causes them to express. A knowledgable breeder can use this to their advantage by culling the recessives and eliminating them from the line. Indescriminate breedings from small numbers typically result in these recessives increasing in numbers - thus the problems. A good breeder setting up a large number of breeding groups and culling aggressively will often times greatly improve the animal for the traits they seek when inbreeding. An animal without undesirable genes will not produce animals with undesirable traits. Genetics doesn't work that way. The genes have to be present in the line in order for them to express. Undesirable genes can be selected against.

    The only real unavoidable problem comes from the immune system. Immune system genetics is not like normal gene pair interactions They split and recombine randomly which means that diversity is of the utmost importance. An animal that is very inbred will invariably show some signs of being more prone to disease and other immune system problems. Linebreeding and outcrossing is how this is controlled. Keep in mind, developing "type" is done solely by inbreeding. Increasing vigor and health is accomplished through outcrossing.
  9. chad

    chad In the Brooder

    Jul 29, 2007
    Pittston, Maine
    Thanks, everyone! I'm glad we won't have to replace Spike. His name really suits him, attitude and toughness to spare.

    Breeding brothers to sisters won't be a problem. "Excess" roosters wind up fulfilling some other destiny on our farm besides siring chicks. [​IMG]

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