Maybe a dumb question about breeding my chickens...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sstarfish, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. sstarfish

    sstarfish Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 13, 2011
    I have 1 rooster and 2 hens (Javas), and I plan on hatching some chicks soon. The 3 that I have currently came from the museum. Once I hatch some chicks, I plan on keeping the pullets and selling off/butchering the boys.... but then what about next time I want to hatch some chicks? Is it okay to hatch chicks from a hen that was bred w/ her own father? Do I just need to get a "new" rooster every few years or something? How does all that work?

  2. AnimalLady123

    AnimalLady123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2012
    At the computer
    It doen't matter if you breed a hen with her own "father" And no you don't have to get a new roo you can keep the same roo for YEARS!! Good Luck!!!
  3. sstarfish

    sstarfish Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 13, 2011
    Woohoo! Thanks so much!!

  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    One generation of father to daughter mating generally does not cause serious problems unless the line is inbred to begin with. Inbreeding brings out bad as well as good traits so the introduction of new blood (a new rooster) may be necessary in the future. Lowered vigor, poor hatchability and reduced egg production and fertility are some problems that can arise.
  5. catnipchickens

    catnipchickens Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 3, 2012
    Hi, I was just thinking the same thing and came across your post. I'm going to be getting Speckled Sussex chicks tomorrow and was going to split the number evenly between 2 coops. I was considering genetics and will probably be relocating each new generation into the opposite coop so there's minimal to no inbreeding. (I will be culling as well to maintain the intergrity of the flocks/breed). I was wondering though if I should introduce a new or replacement rooster every generation or every other generation? I will try to introduce "new blood" as much as I can, but as of right now am finding it difficult to locate a local SS roo source. If anyone could provide advice on this I'd appreciate your feedback. Thanks.

  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    When you inbreed, you run into a few things. One is that any recessive traits get brought out. You may consider these bad or good traits. It is a good way to either enhance these traits or eliminate these traits in your flock. This is a common method championship breeders use to develop grand champion chickens, but if they are successful, these people really know what they are looking for.

    The other issue though is that you can run into a loss of genetic diversity. This is what can lead to the problems Sourland mentioned. Successful breeders can inbreed practically forever and not have this problem, but they have certain techniques they use. You can look up pen breeding, line breeding, or spiral breeding to read about them. There are other techniques. But one of the big things is that they hatch a lot of chicks to select their breeders from. And many require careful record-keeping to keep the lines straight. Pen breeding requires several different roosters and a lot of different hens. My flock is not that big.

    The problem you will potentially have is probably the same one I have. I only keep one rooster. I also don’t hatch a whole lot of chicks, maybe 35 to 40 a year. By carefully selecting which chicks I keep as breeders, I can keep going for three or four generations without running into loss of genetic diversity issues. Every three or four years, I bring in fresh hatching eggs and get a new rooster to give that genetic diversity a boost. But for this to work, you do need to be fairly ruthless in determining which chickens are added to your breeding pool. You have to eliminate any that don’t meet your goals. This can be physical deformities or personality traits.

    What you are talking about can certainly be done. If you get several chicks with real problems, your starting stock may not be that good and you may have to start over. You may have a serious genetic flaw in your birds. But many people basically do what you are talking about and are successful.

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