Questions about inbreeding or linebreeding

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Houdini718, Nov 26, 2014.

  1. Houdini718

    Houdini718 Hatching

    Aug 14, 2014
    Hey guys, I was curious how harmful, if at all, inbreeding will be to the future generations of my flock. I have about 20 hens and one Ameraucana rooster (he's a busy busy boy), and I just hatched my first batch of chicks from him. He's pretty young, born in March of 2014, so I'm certain that he's going to have "relations" with the new hens that hatch from the flock. Will this mess things up? Am I going to have three legged double headed bucktoothed hens and roosters walking around? Is there enough genetic diversity that things will be fine? Thank you for your time.
  2. Achelois

    Achelois In the Brooder

    Oct 22, 2013
    Plenty of people do father-daughter crosses to strengthen desirable characteristics. I've heard a limit of 6-7 generations, which seems like a lot to me, and I've never tested it.

    It does depend on how related your birds are to begin with. Are the hens you have even the same breed as the rooster? You could run into problems if they're already closely related thanks to other breeders, but if not you'll probably be fine.

    I'm raising some brother-sister crosses at the moment. It was an experiment and not something I'd make a habit of. They all hatched and were all healthy, although I've observed they don't have great head type and seemed to grow more slowly than the others that hatched at the same time (mind you, there was a bit of a breed difference there too, with the others being only 3/4 purebred). One had a prominent blue vein visible from time to time in its legs so I was wondering about poor circulation, but it seems vigorous enough. Because of the poor head type I won't be persisting (one of them was an UGLY chicken!). But no buck teeth or extra legs [​IMG] My husband thought I was being cruel calling it ugly, but it was. I don't have a photo. Mind you, some of the non-inbred chicks hatched with unusual looking eyes - I don't want to cause any offence, but they looked like they had Downs syndrome. After a few days they looked like all the other chicks though so I guess the skin around their heads went back to normal?

    But first-gen father-daughter cross, as unpleasant as it sounds, I don't think you'll have problems.
    CiceroXY and Houdini718 like this.
  3. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Songster

    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    Were it me I'd only do it for 1 or 2 generations before introducing a new rooster to the flock for genetic diversity. I haven't been breeding pure breeds as of yet just a barnyard mix of layers but I still get a new rooster each year to limit in breeding
    1 person likes this.
  4. PDPercherons

    PDPercherons Chirping

    May 1, 2014
    Central Michigan
    Inbreeding and line breeding has it's merits, the problem is many don't understand how it should work and how to utilize it to their benefit. You need to know what is behind the qualities of your chickens before line breeding/inbreeding. Otherwise you run into genetic problems because not only do good genes double up, but so can the bad. There are risks no matter what.
    CiceroXY and Houdini718 like this.
  5. Houdini718

    Houdini718 Hatching

    Aug 14, 2014
    Thank you all for your help. I think I'll maybe hatch one generation of the inbred eggs, but really more likely I'll cull my rooster in a year or so and try and get a RIR rooster. I will say that the baby chicks that I've hatched and not bought from the country store seem a lot healthier and are growing faster than their store bought counterparts. I don't know if that's because of the good life their parents are living compared to some chicken farm, or what, but they are a bit livelier. Thanks again for your help.
  6. mossyroo

    mossyroo Chirping

    Oct 23, 2014
    Mossy Head, FL
    I was told once that in the Quarter Horse world that when things work out as desired it is called line breeding but when they go haywire it is inbreeding.
    CiceroXY likes this.
  7. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    I have 15 "Frey's Special Dual Purpose" hens, chances are there's no Black Copper Maran in them. I also have 1 great Black Copper Maran purebred rooster. Would letting it breed with its daughters really pose a risk?

    My goal is to get to a 3rd generation off-spring as an egg layer (not necessarily breeding on from there with this rooster).


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