Lack of Genetic Diversity Results in Susceptibility to Disease

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by speckledhen, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Interesting article that says the much of the genetic diversity that, among other things, makes chickens resistant to disease, is missing in our meat and eggs breeds today.

    In a disease outbreak, it wont be the backyard flocks that are the vectors of disease, it will be the monoculture factory operations, in my humble opinion. Anyway, thought some of you might find this interesting, especially those of you interested in preserving heritage breeds.
  2. Black Feather

    Black Feather Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    I agree with the article. It's the genetic diversity that allows species to survive disease outbreaks. One birds immune system may not be able to genetically handle a disease where another birds slightly different system can. Those birds that survive then go on to re-populate the species. This is a way oversimplification, but it's the same concept that allows species to evolve to changing environmental shift. The critters that are slightly more tolerant toward the new environment go on to procreate while those less tolerant die out.

    I find it funny how the big producers dislike the hobby breeders so much because they view our birds as disease carriers. I wonder if the same disease were let loose in the production flocks and the BYB flocks, which ones would end up with the higher survival rate?

    Urban Coyote
  3. Orpington Poultry

    Orpington Poultry Songster

    Feb 27, 2009
    Thanks Speckledhen for the link. Very interesting article.

    It is easy to see how devastating this could be for commercial flocks. Even the smaller breeders need to take note that consistant inbreeding can have serious affects on the birds, not only disease wise, but production, fertility etc.

    Kepp them happy and healthy. Thanks again for the good read.

  4. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    I agree 100% and would like to add one other factor that is a key in my opinion. "Only the strong survive" There are to to to many meds being given, weak animals being saved that wouldn't make it by themselves.

    Steve in NC
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Steve, I completely agree with you about holding back meds to allow the strongest to survive. It's not a popular view at times, though.
  6. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    Jan 1, 2008
    Thanks for sharing this. [​IMG] This is very useful information.

    WOW thats wild. Well thats why the industry wants (needs) such high biosecurity measures.

    BTW: those birds in that picture, although they are in those cages, look like they are well taken care of., compared to a 'regular commercial' bird in said similar cage.

    Another thing:~~{{ Upcoming certification for pollurum testing in Wisconsin 2009.}}~~ Two years ago it was free, now they will be charging everyone $25 to become certified. People who have been doing this testing for 40 years still have to go to it bi yearly and get recertified. I believe the industry definitely has its hands all over that. Trying to make it increasingly harder for backyard flocks to exist. Antigen is only sold in 1000 dose bottles. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  7. Grace

    Grace In the Brooder

    Feb 19, 2009
    I really enjoyed that article. I agree that is is so important to outcross bloodlines. I have seen it in horses, to much line breeding in certain breeds has resulted in smaller horses that tend to not hold up as long. Many have chronic problems their entire life. I think outcrossing defintely adds genetic vigor.

  8. wilds of pa

    wilds of pa Songster

    Here in this article published my MOTHER EARTH NeWS it has some info very similar to Purdue's

    Link Will take you to page 5 of the article:
    Read the part under It promotes virulent diseases

    However the rest of the article is a very very good read as well. [​IMG]

    Last edited: Mar 4, 2009
  9. Willjg

    Willjg Songster

    May 9, 2008
    Hey there,

    What a GREAT article! I totally agree 100% and have thought about that for some time. Thank you so much for sharing that article.

    Take Care,
  10. Kim_NC

    Kim_NC Songster

    Jan 27, 2009
    Mt Airy, NC
    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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