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Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Happy Chooks, Jul 10, 2013.
Oh, no, I was talking about those that are trying to make Buckeye sex links. Just curious why someone would want that, but Merengoite explained it pretty well for me. Sounds like they are just doing backyard experiments for fun, but still keeping pure Buckeyes.
I think it would be much more challenging to recreate the Buckeye today mostly because the original breeds of chickens are not the same as what would have been available in the 1800's. The cochin for sure are much more poofy and have even more feathered legs than when they were first brought over. I know when I was first researching the Buckeyes, I was surprised that breed was even used, but after I read about the differences between the way they were then and the show birds of today it makes sense. Many of the foundation stock that Nettie started with were still in the developing stages. I know for sure the Buckeyes I saw at the Columbus show a few weeks ago were really poofy and kind of small headed, much smaller heads than my Buckeyes anyway. Makes me wonder about their weights. Maybe wouldn't make a very good table bird. We'll eat the razor breasted culls, they taste fine, just doesn't make a very good roasted chicken. I hate having to make two of them to feed my family.
Thanks for explaining about the grading. Is that something you have much experience in? Have you tried it?
Welcome to the buckeye thread. It's nice to read someone has done some research into Nettie's works and understands the difference between the birds back then and the ones now. . Keep learning and asking questions.
I am interested in two types of breeding. One is furthering the breed and keeping them sustainable. Purebred Buckeyes should still be going strong in a hundred years. That requires good breeding programs. To my mind that also means bringing in good Buckeye genes so you don't overbreed a line and create genetic issues. Since there are so few breeding birds, it makes sense to me to include good birds of more than one line in a breeding program. I am sure some will disagree, but I hate seeing overly inbred animals. A good example is dog breeds with tendencies towards hip dysplasia or deafness.
The other kind of breeding that interests me is crossing for learning about genetics and to create a useful bird. Most people near me only want pullets. They don't care about breed. If I can give them guaranteed pullets with good personality and good laying ability, plus I get a full freezer, it is good. I raised Cornish X this year for the freezer. Next year I want to fill our freezer with our birds.
I can't speak for anyone else, but for me it would be for personal use. If I were able to sex the chicks at hatch, I could sell off the pullets as day-olds and make a little money and keep the cockerels to grow out for meat. If I don't need new layers for my laying flock, then I don't have to spend the money to grow the chicks out to an age where I can tell the difference between the genders and I don't have to spend money feeding pullets I don't want. There's a much bigger profit margin (not that I am in chickens for money, I certainly don't expect to actually make money and consider it great if I break even) if I only have to feed them for 1-7 days vs feeding them for 8 weeks or more. I also don't have to worry about selling a bird as a pullet and having it turn out to be a cockerel. There are always more people looking for laying birds than looking for extra cockerels, and in my area most of them are less concerned about what breed they are than what `color egg they lay. And I finally have my husband convinced that home-grown birds are far superior to the factory farmed chicken we get at the grocery store and worth the effort to grow them.
I'm sure there are some buckeye people out there who are wholly against any sort of cross breeding. But I like to think that a large number of the people who keep buckeyes are drawn to them for utility purposes. For a purely utilitarian purpose, cross breeds and hybrids are generally just as good (if not better) than purebreds.
Quote: The easiest way to get sex link birds is use a solid colored male over a barred hen. The resulting males with be barred, the females will be solid colored with perhaps a red head. Tomorrow I'll post a picture of a Dominique/ Buckeye cross that's running around here. He's not something I bred intentionally, just one of several that showed up one day trailing a clever broody, but will give you a good idea of the potential for hybrid vigor in a first generation cross breed. That's really all those Cornish X birds are; first generation crossbreeds from carefully selected and intensely inbred Cornish and White Plymouth Rocks.
Quote: I agree, not all close matings are bad; and neither is every "genetic bottleneck". The purebred Alpine dairy goat in the US descended from an initial import of just 13 animals, and the Lamancha breed really traces back to only two individuals. Inbreeding (linebreeding) is a way to "double up" on the good qualities of a superior animal in it's offspring, though it's a double edged sword, as you will also be increasing the chance for genetic faults to express themselves. What makes linebreeding successful is the willingness of a breeder to remove faulty animals from the breeding program. I've always liked this chart as a 'blueprint' for linebreeding, as it gives you the formula for creating three distinct lines; one favoring the original sire, one favoring the original dam, and the third that is a composite of both the original birds. Of course the genetic deck of cards doesn't always get shuffled and cut square, so the exact percentages will vary in an individual bird. But the basic plan is still sound.
Your caution about dogs is especially important. For dogs. In general, this is good advice, but chickens may be bred a lot closer than mammals without the same ill effects. Probably the best I've read on Inbreeding vs. Linebreeding is Bob Blosl who recently passed away and is a deep, deep loss to the poultry fancy. I regret that I never had the opportunity to meet him face to face. I would recommend this article that he has posted on Linebreeding: http://bloslspoutlryfarm.tripod.com/id16.html And pretty much everything else he has written on that site. He was a very wise and a very kind man who will be dearly missed for years to come.