What Constitutes a Purebred Chicken??

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by ChickyBangBang, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. ChickyBangBang

    ChickyBangBang Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi again - it's the ever annoying newbie.

    I would like to know exactly what constitutes a chicken as being a purebred please. I know virtually everything about the canine equivalent, but I am completely ignorant to the chicken side of things.

    With dogs, just because you breed a Collie to a Collie - doesn't make their offspring purebred Collies. A lot is factored in, such as several generations of familial history (known as a pedigree). If Collie A was born to two Collies, but one of those 2 Collies has a Sheltie in their line, then anything stemming from that Collie is NOT a purebred Collie.

    So how do chickens work? Is there a certain number of generations that need to be sustainably proven in order to be able to call that chick a "purebred chick"? If so, how many generations? Is there some sort of ACC (American Coop Club) that registers purebred chickens and provides proof of their bloodlines somehow? I'm totally in the dark in this.

    The reason I am asking is because I noticed you all have an egg exchange/swap going on from month to month and I would love to one day participate in that exchange. However - that being said - I need to know exactly what a purebred chicken is, since that is the only kind allowed according to the thread I read.

    Thank you.
     
  2. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Purebreeds are those that match the APA Standard of Perfection. They are bred by breeders and usually are show birds.
    Hatcheries and many local sellers may claim their birds being purebreed, but usually are not. Buying birds at a show or from a reputable seller here on byc should get you on the correct track for breeding purebreeds.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    A similar standard in the chicken world is the APA's Standard of Perfection. Each accepted breed has precise standards, along with a lengthy, detailed description of the type of the breed. To get that type, or to be judged by expert judges, in a major show, a bird would first have to not have disqualifying faults. Some features are so far from proper type, that the bird would be disqualified and never be entered for judging in the first place.

    A bird that judges higher than 93 points, let's say, is a very nice bird, while a bird that is judged, say at 97 points would be a crazy good, outstanding bird. A purebred bird is one that meets the standards for the breed as outlined by the APA. This is over simplified, but gets the point across.

    To achieve scores of that nature, the bird would have to come from a great bloodline and have been bred carefully for many, many generations. Top breeders of these birds have not only kept the bloodline pure, but keep the strain pure, not ever mixing blood from other purebred lines. You'd probably enjoy the discussion on the Heritage Large Fowl Thread. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/400344/heritage-large-fowl-thread

    This thread is 2 years in the running and almost 700 pages of content. In these pages, however, you'll see photos of extraordinary birds, of many breeds, pages of discussion by some top breeders, and great conversation of breeding "true to type". Better to put your eyes on some of these photos and you'll be amazed what purebred birds look like. They are breathtakingly beautiful. Participants in this thread include top APA judges and many long time, top breeders. They'd be glad to help you out with specific questions.

    Breeding poultry is said, by those in the know, to be much more difficult than dog breeding. Hope that helps some.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
  4. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

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    What constitutes a purebred chicken is conceptually similar to what constitutes a purebred dog. The key difference is that there is no registration process for chickens: I hatched about 450 this year, the cost of registering them would be prohibitive let alone the time to fill out the applications.
    I'll depart slightly from the notion that a purebred chicken must match the APA Standard. Not all purebred dogs match the AKC Standard [or any other organization's Standard]; the same is true of chickens. There are poorly bred purebred dogs that don't come close to their breed standards, the same is true of poorly bred purebred chickens. I'd say a purebred chicken is one that comes from like parents that are a recognized breed/variety, breeds true & approximates the breed/variety description in the Standard.
    Also, the notion that hatcheries routinely sell cross bred birds as purebreds is false. While it's possible that some are indeed cross bred, the majority are simply poorly bred. Hatcheries, for the most part, breed for quantity not quality. As a result they do not cull inferior specimens rather allow them to muddy up the gene pool.
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Great post, NYREDS. Thanks.
     
  6. 20736

    20736 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I come from a long line of dog breeders. My grandmother used to say, "don't buy the best puppy in a bad litter." The same is true in poultry - it is all about gene pools and recessive genes. Many of the desirable genes in poultry are recessive, so a bird that demonstrates a desirable characteristic is usually pure recessive for that one trait (rr vs RR or Rr).
    I have learned a lot about this subject by subscribing to The Poultry Press. Every month there are good articles about inheritance, breeding, etc. Might I suggest you look into a subscription for that periodical?
    Continue your pursuit of knowledge in this area. It is worth the effort.
     
  7. ChickyBangBang

    ChickyBangBang Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all very much for the well-worded and kindly responses. I have indeed checked out the thread you referred me to (several times) and it is very interesting! Unfortunately I did not come across "purebred versus 'any chicken'" until after I'd already ordered my hatching eggs. However, I did order three purebred blue silkie eggs and three purebred white silkie eggs in addition to my frizzles coming from different breeds.

    So, if there is a standard of appearance in regard to these chickens, I guess the frizzle-feathered variety (since it is a mutation) would not be accepted as purebred...just as a blue or chocolate Yorkie is not an acceptable specimen of a standard Yorkie according to the AKC due to their color mutation. Am I correct in this? If so...that's a shame, as I find the frizzle feathers lovely :(
     
  8. 20736

    20736 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    "as I find the frizzle feathers lovely....."
    to thine ownself be true.
    They are your chickens. Enjoy.
     
  9. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

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    I think you may be placing too much emphasis on the word "purebred". Frizzles are accepted, in fact they are accepted in every breed & variety. You can have a Rhode Island Red Frizzle, a White Leghorn Frizzle, a BB Red Modern Game Bantam Frizzle or whatever. All are accepted all can win in a show.
     

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