Prevent inbreeding by changing Roo every x generations??

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by pixie74943, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. pixie74943

    pixie74943 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    Adelaide, Australia
    Just curious... If I had say.. 10 hens and a Roo...

    How many generations could I hatch from this group without inbreeding? I've heard of people having the Son of their original roo take over.. so obviously he's doing the naughty with some birds that are at least half related to him. How many generations could this go on without defects popping up?

    Can anyone think of a simple easy to follow system that would allow for a closed system similar to this without inbreeding occuring.. say if I seperated into 2 or 3 flocks and exchanged Roos/added new Roos every couple of generations?

    Or would it be possible to raise 2 or 3 generations from an original flock of 10 hens and 1 Roo, and then bring in a new Roo whenever the old one gets.. old.

    Ideally, it would be nice to not have to bring in too much 'fresh blood' (sounds yucky that way) and buying a Roo is alot easier for diversity than buying a group of hens... I just like the idea of being able to raise my own flock without having to rely on others too much for genetic diversity.

    Obviously being 'chicken happy' I would end up adding/importing chickens whenever I saw a cool/pretty/spunky new breed I didnt have, but for the sake of argument, what could I get away with?
  2. QuailHollow

    QuailHollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was actually reading that, say if you have a trio, you can breed on the same birds for up to 3 years before needing to worry about adding outcrossed stock.

    Quote, "One way to get started is to go to the breeder’s home and purchase a breeding trio or two pairs. Ask the breeder to put to gather a breeding pen for you for the purpose of breeding the size of [chicken] that you want to have. One way to do this is breed the daughters back to the father and the sons back to the mother. You could do this for up to three to four years. There is another way and that is a line breeding method which I have three different types that you can use. But for the beginner, just get started and don’t worry about how you are going to mate your birds two and three years from now."


    assume you need to cull heavily.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2009
  3. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    You can go along way and not have problems. You can inbreed poultry for quite a while. You can line breed for generation after generation very easy. The only thing with line breeding is you have to keep careful records of your breeding program. If your original 10 birds are not related you could just pen breed them for years with no problem. I have read in some of the old poultry books that you can inbreed up 7/8's or 15/16ths. For example

    hen A roo B
    that offspring is 1/2 or AB
    mate young roo AB to hen A you get ABB 3/4
    mate young roo ABB back to hen A you get ABBB 7/8

    That's an easy example of line breeding, breeding son, grandson, great grandson back to mother. On the other side you do the daughter, grand daughter to father etc etc.

    From you original birds you can create different lines, once you get each to say 7/8ths then you can start over, interbreeding the lines together and begin again. That's how you can go years and years with no problems and keep a totally closed flock for as long as you want.

    If you are pressed for space and as long as you mark your birds and keep records you can let them all run together and then just seperate them out for breeding when you want to breed.

    Hope that helps some?

    Steve in NC
    mjett5578 likes this.
  4. QuailHollow

    QuailHollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Thanks Steve. Glad to know what I read was validated.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:I think you mean "without *problems showing up from* inbreeding", which is entirely dependant on the genetic background of your flock. Somewhere between 0 and nearly-infinite generations, really. It also helps to be keeping a larger flock than that, and to be culling carefully for any signs of congenital problems. But really, it is unpredictable except in a general/average sense. Your mileage will vary, sometimes considerably.

    Also, you have to consider how related they already are. If they are pretty closely related to start with, any problems you will encounter (which depends on how much baggage they're carrying in terms of hidden recessive alleles for bad traits) will be encountered sooner than if they are pretty unrelated to start with.

    Can anyone think of a simple easy to follow system that would allow for a closed system similar to this without inbreeding occuring.. say if I seperated into 2 or 3 flocks and exchanged Roos/added new Roos every couple of generations?

    Or would it be possible to raise 2 or 3 generations from an original flock of 10 hens and 1 Roo, and then bring in a new Roo whenever the old one gets.. old.

    Yes, both of these will work. There are lots of schemes for that sort of thing.

    Which approach is best depends a lot on whether you are trying to strongly select for particular traits, or just want to let the gene pool "be" except for selecting against obviously-wrong or obviously-deleterious traits.

    If you are not going to be conducting a strong selection program for particular traits, e.g. for showing, then frankly the easiest thing is probably to just let them do their thing and not worry about bringing in new blood until and unless you see problems developing, either with fertility or with defective chicks. This might happen soon, it might not happen for a long time, who knows, depends on your birds' hidden genetics.

    If you are really trying to select hard for particular traits, adding unrelated blood will interfere with your efforts, though. So in that case you would want to start with lines that you believe are relatively free of recessive defects, and then keep 2 or 3 or more separate pens, whose males you swap every generation or so or (alternatively) that you manage in one of the more intricate versions of linebreeding etc.

    Good luck, have fun,

  6. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    you beat me to the link...
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  7. QuailHollow

    QuailHollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here's another question - what would happen if you took.. say.. SQ stock that is low on fertility and bred it to a hatchery type bird? Then, took it back to the SQ stock.

    Here's why I ask:

    I was at a farm earlier this year, and talked to someone who had a beautiful flock of Buff Orpingtons. He said that, back in the day, his uncle bred the birds and exhibited them. He helped his uncle feed and water the birds when he was younger, and thus his interest in poultry to this day. Anyway, he went on to tell me - that his uncle told him - the key to success was; every 5 years or so (This is a direct quote) "you had to throw some junk in the line to fix things". He said his uncle would get a couple of hatchery hens to toss in with his stock, and keep right on going. Like I said, about every 5 years or so he did this. I believe my husbands grandfather bred Champion Silver Laced Wyandottes back in the early part of last century. He did something similar as well.

    Any thoughts? Is this an old method that is no longer used now that we have a better understanding of genetics?

    ETA: Maybe this is why we see 'sports/throwbacks' in some of the old line breedings?
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2009
  8. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Not something I would do at all. To breed a line of SQ takes years, to throw in something else would be to risk all your breeding efforts.

    Steve in NC

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2008
    This is another threar that goes around here pretty regularly. If you do a search for line breeding or inbreeding you'll find lots of opinions.
    Properly managed a line bred flock can go on indefinately.
    I have bred a closed flock of Rhode Island Red Bantams for nearly 25 years w/o any problems. My hens lay well. Eggs hatch well & the birds show well. I only was able to show 3 times this year but had BB all 3 times. In all 3 cases there was competition from well established breeders. I judged several shows this year & at most of them I saw Reds that origionated from my line. They seem to be doing well for others also.
    I breed both dogs & poultry and in both endeavors successful breeders line breed. Sometimes doing a blind outcross works out but more often it's a disaster.
  10. pipermark

    pipermark Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2007
    To lines of thought.
    One doing what he did is more work, but breeds a healthier, genetically speaking flock, requiring less culling.

    True inline breeding, can produce great looking birds, but to keep the flock healthy you need to cull hard. You also have to cull for more than just looks.

    Immune system - if you treat birds with weak immune systems and line breed, this could become the dominate trait in your flock, which could end up in a disaster sometime down the road (keep in mind we are looking at years here not months).

    Egg laying, (supposing you want the breed not only to look like but fulfill the function of the original breed was designed for). You have to cull for egg size and laying ability. Inline breeding seems to show first in these areas. ( A great concern by the way of the president of the Leghorn association, see Poultry Press about 3 years ago, very good article written by the president, of course, he might not be the president of the association now, but the article was still well written and very informative, and it could have been less than 3 years ago or more than, I suck at time)

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