The Ethics of not Breeding

Awakening Forest

FreeBird
Aug 14, 2020
1,098
3,303
366
North Central Florida
Not sure where to ask this question and figured it may receive some replies on here. Is it ethical to not breed a very rare breed? Say one has a flock of exceedingly rare / endangered whatevers but they are not going to breed them…. Is there an ethical obligation to breed due to their status? Or it is purely personal choice? Please explain your reasoning if possible.
 

JacinLarkwell

Enabler
Mar 19, 2020
21,047
63,609
1,161
South-Eastern Montana
Not sure where to ask this question and figured it may receive some replies on here. Is it ethical to not breed a very rare breed? Say one has a flock of exceedingly rare / endangered whatevers but they are not going to breed them…. Is there an ethical obligation to breed due to their status? Or it is purely personal choice? Please explain your reasoning if possible.

Hmmm.... toughie. Let me try to explain the several rabbit holes I just went down reading the question out. Bewarned however I usually side with preserving things that came from domesticated lines as opposed to letting nature rule extinction of truly wild animals for the most part (that's a whole other can of worms in of itself).

I would say that /Yes/ generally speaking, there is a general obligation to keep breeding them, especially if you are able to get both sexes (obviously you can't breed them if say you're not allowed to have a rooster or literally can't find one to use).

/BUT/ then you have to look at your stock. Are they even similar looking to what the breed should look like? If so, yes. By all means there should at least be an attempt and effort put through to either breed yourself or find someobe you can partner with that can help make use of the flock.

Or are they very poor quality from a quanity over quality background? If they are, maybe it's okay to not use them because they don't really relate to their actual breed except through DNA.

Or you can look and see what is wrong woth them. Too small? Not quite the right shades? Of it's something that can be fixed somewhat easily through selective breedong, then o would argue that you should at least attempt and try to keep the genetics alive and either work to bring them back to where they should be appearance wise or find someone yet again to work with on that point.
 

theoldchick

The Chicken Whisperer
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 11, 2010
33,489
26,500
1,007
Just because they are extremely rare does not mean you have to breed them. Only the best of the best should reproduce, and with rare breeds you must be mindful of too much inbreeding. You need to cull the poor quality specimens and some folks don't like doing that. However, I wouldn't mind allowing a few of my flock go to a person who knows how breed a rare species and keep genetic diversity in the flock.
 

getaclue

Enabler
9 Years
Jun 19, 2013
11,796
38,693
1,172
Central Florida
That depends on quite a few factors. One of the first questions to ask, is why is it so rare? Is it a heritage breed that fell out of popularity? Is it a newer breed, that has not gained popularity? Is it because chicks are hard to hatch from them, thereby, making it more difficult to maintain the line?

Next, you need to take a hard look at your existing stock, and see what it would take to bring the line up to where it needs to be. Even with lesser quality stock, a line can be brought up, but it takes time, and lots of culling. Are you willing to hatch out the numbers required, and cull the ones that don't meet the standard?

With each generation, when done correctly, the line should improve. In addition, with each generation, you are further removed from "inbreeding", and eventually you are not even line breeding, so eventually you will have enough genetic diversity. That shouldn't be a big problem. It's more about time, effort, record keeping, hatching numbers, and culling.

If you are starting out with really good quality stock, and you like the breed, eventually you will need to hatch, and cull, just to maintain your own line anyway. There are a lot less biosecurity risks involved when you are dealing strictly with your own stock, and not introducing new stock to your property, and flock.

The only moral obligation is to ensuring you have a well cared for, healthy flock. If you feel that breeding might be overwhelming, and the overall well being of your flock would suffer, then don't do it. If you feel you might be able to accomplish a breeding program, while enjoying it, as well as maintaining the well being, and health of your flock, then go for it.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom