Signs of "Line Breeding"?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by L&Schickens, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. L&Schickens

    L&Schickens Songster

    Jun 9, 2008
    Washington State
    I got some Marans eggs the beginning of the month and many have hatched. Unfortunately, several of the black copper Marans have foot defects. The webbing on the middle and outside toes are fused together and I have cut them apart in hopes of getting a normal foot eventually. If these chicks are functional on their feet when they are grown, I do not think I will breed them. If they are hens, I will sell their eggs, but as eating eggs only.
    Could the feet problems be due to too much inbreeding?
    So far only the black Black Coppers have it. The Wheaton Black coppers do not. (I say Wheaton BC because they are yellow chicks out of a BC egg)

    Does this happen a lot with BC Marans?
    (Mine are Wade Jean BC lines and Bev Davis Wheaton lines)

  2. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    My friend purchased some started chicks last summer/fall and one of them had webbed toes too.

    ETA: They were black coppers.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2009
  3. geareduplyn

    geareduplyn Songster

    Jun 2, 2008
    Salley SC
    That is a genetic disorder. You should cull heavily after you have enough birds to do so. It probably does come from having the birds closely inbred. I am an advocate of close breeding, but you must be prepared to cull heavily.
  4. L&Schickens

    L&Schickens Songster

    Jun 9, 2008
    Washington State
    I totally intend to cull. I believe in that. I like to show birds also, and if Marans are accepted into the APA standard, I can't have birds with webbed toes. I will also cross breed some of the Wheatons with the normal toed BCs to help mix up the line a little.
    Even though egg color is most important to me, genetic defects are not what I want.
  5. lovemychix

    lovemychix Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Moulton Iowa
    I got some chicks from welp this fall and some have bent toes. I figured this was from inbreeding. I called them on it too!! Now my cochins and golden laced look very nice!! They also didn't sex very well. I have 6 roos out of 25 suppose to be pullets. I won't be ordering from welps anymore. All chicks do seem to be healthy even though some have bad feet. I won't cull because I just want them for layers.

  6. Pine Grove

    Pine Grove Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    Lakeland, Ga
    Webbed feet and fused together toes is caused by a Biotin deficiency in the breeders diet,,Curled or crooked toes is not genetic either....
  7. L&Schickens

    L&Schickens Songster

    Jun 9, 2008
    Washington State
    That is good to know. What is Biotin and how do I make sure my birds are getting it?
  8. wclawrence

    wclawrence Songster

    Vitamin B7.
    Anyone hatching eggs should be supplementing the diet of their breeders with a multivitamin. B-vitamin deficiency is so easy to fix, it should never be a problem if someone is selling hatching eggs.
  9. stoneunhenged

    stoneunhenged Songster

    Aug 21, 2008
    Black's Veterinary Dictionary lists crooked toes as a 'pheno-deviant' in chickens and the result of excessive inbreeding. I hatched a dozen black copper marans from an Alabama breeder and ended up killing half of them at six months of age because of this disorder. Sad to have to destroy animals because a breeder doesn't do his or her job properly. I have rarely seen it otherwise but it was prevalent in this one group of birds.

  10. L&Schickens

    L&Schickens Songster

    Jun 9, 2008
    Washington State
    Quote:I talked to another guy on the phone tonight about his BC Marans and some of his had the same problem but were from a different breeder. He said his wheatons and splash Marans did not have the toe problems the BC did. So I think it is inbreeding in my case. I will not breed these chicks if they grow up and are able to walk, but if any are hens, they will just be eating egg layers not breeders. I would not want someone else to have this problem.

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