Maintaining genetic diversity in a small backyard flock

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Dustinnvnorth, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. Dustinnvnorth

    Dustinnvnorth Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 9, 2012
    Reno NV
    Is there a good book or web site that will help me understand if its possible and how to maintain decent genetic diversity in a small flock of chickens? Line breeding, spiral breeding, out breeding, inbreeding… Is it possible to maintain a closed flock with only a couple roosters and a dozen hens for more than a few years? It would be nice to not have to buy outside stock all the time to keep my birds healthy and productive. Hopefully there are some good books on raising chickens out there that wont hurt my head too bad. What do you recommend?
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  2. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    Here ya go. The advice is classic.
    Includes breeding chart.
    Judge Card was Dan Honour's Uncle Uncle. Dan is the Dean of all things about breeding Buff poultry.
    See his online complilation:
    Judge Card was a highly regarded breeder and judge. He used to go around the shows and talk about breeding, making it very easy to undrstand for the average person.
    It is your judicious selection of breed type in your breeding program which maintains genetic diversity.
    "It is the varied opinion of breeders as to what constitutes the ideal representative of the breed, and their selection of breeding stock that maintains breed diversity."
    Jerold S. Bell, DVM
    Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, N. Grafton, MA

    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013

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