Introduction & Preserving Icelandic Chicken genetics...

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Cindyv10, May 24, 2010.

  1. Cindyv10

    Cindyv10 Hatching

    May 24, 2010
    Hi, my name is Cindy and I live in Northwestern CT. We've been raising chickens for about 8 years now and we still have one of the original girls!

    My brother was among the shepherds that went to Iceland in 2003 along with Lyle Behl when he brought the Icelandic chicken eggs to the US to hatch. He acquired some of the offspring from the original eggs and has been raising them up in Northern Maine. Just this weekend he brought me 21 eggs to hatch myself (which I have done with other breeds) and I'm thrilled to have them. It was quite a drive down, so I'm waiting to see how many actually make it.

    My concern is genetics. He said the heartiest ones survived their -40 degree winters, but they appear to be getting smaller. With all the in-breeding I'm afraid their quality is suffering. I have a nice sized Araucana/Favorelle mix rooster, but I really don't want to mix non-icelandics with icelandics. What I'm hoping for is that perhaps there is someone in New England with Icelandics who would be willing to do an egg swap (once mine are old enough to lay) to improve the gene pool for both our flocks. I'd be happy to swap chicks, but I'm not sure what kind of red tape there may be bringing poultry across state lines.

    If there is anyone out there, I'd be willing to meet halfway - I've never shipped eggs, and don't want to risk these babies! I'm thinking MA, NH, RI, NY, NJ, PA. Any ideas, suggestions are welcome.
  2. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

    Last edited: May 24, 2010
  3. greatergraceoffbg

    greatergraceoffbg Songster

    May 30, 2009
    Quote:Hey everyone I wanted to repost Cindy's request, she is a sweet lady and if anyone has some Rala lines to share that would be good, I don't think that the lines being closed wold result in diminished size, but it wouldn't hurt for Cindy to have another line and withe her brother being Lyle Behl's buddy and all we really should back her up, I don't have eggs at the moment or I would myself but am guessing someone on here may! [​IMG]

    Andy in Fredericksburg [​IMG]
  4. HaikuHeritageFarm

    HaikuHeritageFarm Songster

    Jul 7, 2010
    Anchorage, AK
    Cindy, selectively breeding for size over the course of a few generations should help, too, if you can't get your hands on another line. Cull or trade out the small birds and keep the largest until they are more in line with the size you want. Especially focus on only keeping the largest roo to use.

    I think it sounds like outcrossing would be a very bad idea with this breed. Just my $0.02 as an "outsider". I don't have the breed, but I am an admirer!

    Good luck with your hatch, and please share photos!
  5. antheat

    antheat In the Brooder

    Jan 10, 2008
    Chicks are available through Sand Hill Preservation - so that may be an option for Cindy as well.

  6. Islenka Feather

    Islenka Feather Hatching

    May 10, 2011
    Hi Cindy, I am new to the Icelandic chicken world and to BYC. In researching the BYC Forum site I came across your forum about doing an egg swap to improve the gene pool of the Icelandic flock. I have five Icelandic chicks that I had obtained from Lyle Behl and would like to improve my gene pool once mine our old enough as well to preserve this rare and wonderful bird. I actually live in Northwestern CT myself. Let me know if you would like to meet up down the road. Thanks.

    - Michele
    Last edited: May 10, 2011
  7. MTmillefleur

    MTmillefleur In the Brooder

    Aug 24, 2014
    Cindy: ran across your request for some diversity in your new (in 2010) Icelandic flock. Did you have luck finding folks with other lines of Icelandics. If not please visit the FB page Icelandic Chickens (landnamshaenan) for help. Many owners are in New England.

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