Inbreeding?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 16 paws, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. 16 paws

    16 paws Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi there,
    I have a question, I wanted to breed polish chickens. Do I have to make sure none of the chickens are related or does that matter. I have 3 polish hens and the lady I got them from told me to get the roo from someone else. Another lady has a roo and a hen she would sell me but they are from the same hatch I think. Just confused how that works and would love to learn as much as I can from people with experience.
    Thanks for your time and consideration.
    Marie
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    A lot depends upon what you are trying to accomplish. You can inbreed several generations with little problems if you start with vigorous stock. I have a friend who started with one pair of WCB Polish and bred from them for 20 + generations without adding new blood. He did lose egg productivity, fertility issues arose, but any birds that he raised were excellent show birds. If I were breeding to have a backyard flock, I would not inbreed for more than 2 or 3 generations.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    There are lines of classic, true bred birds that have not been outcrossed for decades and decades. Chickens are different.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Another way to look at inbreeding is where it results in loss of genetic variation. Individuals being mated to each other need no be closely related to result in this loss of genetic variation. Sometimes the loss of genetic variation concentrates or even fixes (makes all the same) a given trait within the population. This can be a problem when what is left somehow reduces quality (appearance, growth, behavior, fertility, etc...) of the population. The same process can also be used to remove the same "bad" traits like used for appearance of show strains. This desired process can be greatly enhanced by adding your ability to select birds that carry genes only for the trait(s) you desire. Problem can be where you select based on one characteristic but ignore another that hurts your efforts later (i.e. select for tail color but allow fertility to drop). Some lines have been developed through selection with inbreeding where the majority of bad genes have been removed to a degree where subsequent inbreeding causes minimal changes in the relative abundance of good to bad genes. This is where you are when starting with pairs that can be inbred for 20+ generations without much in the way of inbreeding depression / negative impacts. Carrying out inbreeding with many individuals with many mating combinations and many offspring to work with enables developing lines that have desirable genes on most accounts. Starting with too few breeders and too few offspring each subsequent generation make process very difficult. By far and away most parties employing inbreeding are going the route of fewer breeders and fewer offspring resulting strains that either fall in quality or need to be periodically refreshed with new blood.
     
  5. 16 paws

    16 paws Chillin' With My Peeps

     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    "vigorous stock" - free from inherent genetic flaws due to stringent culling of the original breeder.
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Once a good breeder works with a "line" of birds for many, many years, the birds become almost clones of each other. This is said to be a level flock. The breeder can replicate, to a large extent, the look of the birds that in her/his eye matches the Standard or comes extremely close to the Standard. It is a living piece of art and the breeder is the artist. The Weatherwax Collies of Lassie TV and movie fame where a line of Collies that Mr Weatherwax bred and kept. He could send in two or three dogs, to be filmed as "Lassie". To the viewer at home, they all looked alike. In poultry, these lines sometimes become quite famous and the "look" is so beautiful and distinct that people refer to that line of birds as the "Smith" line or the "Jones" line.

    If Mrs Smith would ever decide to mix into her line a bird from Mr Jones line, for whatever reason, this would be outcrossing. She is reaching outside her own line for a feature or a desired improvement from another line. But, it is risky to do so.

    This isn't done all that often because now, you're at the deep end of the gene pool. The breeder faces working with all the genes of his own line, (good and bad) but now must contend with all the genes of the other line, the outcross, that was imported.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    The best way to work toward becoming a breeder is to secure the direction of a mentor.

    Becoming a quality breeder is as challenging a goal as can be imagined. Anyone can run a mill and crank out birds, which is merely propagation. Learning the "ART" of breeding, is a life long pursuit.
     
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  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sometimes what is good for one line can be bad to another. Two lines that are outwardly indistinguishable and other equally perfect can produce a first generation cross that is decidedly inferior to the parent lines. The phenotype we see is a mixture of allele types and even though multiple mixtures can give the same desired look, jumbling up the alleles can mess that up. Even so such crosses with further and proper selection can have magical results.
     

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