When does inbreeding become an issue?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Jeffross1968, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Not sure if this is the right forum...if not, mods, please move...

    Anyway, I haven't read much about breeding. This would not be for showing or anything, just interested in how inbreeding might effect future hatches, chick health, and egg laying. I just recently hatched out a few eggs from my roo and a couple of my hens. I've since nearly filled the incubator with 18 purchased eggs, and another 12 eggs from my hens. If successful, I'm sure I'll keep, at the very least, a couple of those hens that hatch.

    Now my question is, if my current roo, who fathered those hens, then mates and I try to hatch those eggs...can I expect issues? How far down the inbreeding line will I begin to see problems?
  2. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Songster

    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    I'm think I read on another forum that you can breed mother and son, but not brother and sister? I don't know but hopefully someone will help you. Personally, I have one roo. He has bred his mother and sisters, and his own offspring and there does not seem to be any problems. I think later down the line (like really far down) you might see some problems, but you should be fine. Unless you are trying to breed for show, it really does not matter.
  3. Jeff, you`ll be fine for several generations, at least 6 with the tightest breeding. If you start seeing defects, just get another rooster and keep going. Good luck, from one transplanted flatlander, to another........Pop
  4. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Thanks, pop, I really appreciate it! I tried doing some research but couldn't find acceptable answers. We'll be adding some fresh blood as time goes along, so hopefully I'll never see any issues. Thanks again!
  5. foxypoproxy

    foxypoproxy Songster

    Aug 2, 2011
    Madison, CT
    Like Lollipop said,
    I don't think it will really be an issue.
    I can only see problems arising down the line in the very late late generations.
    Thats when you may need to bring in a different chicken for breeding.
  6. The new blood has to be a rooster. No problem adding hens from time to time, but the rooster will "spread the love"...........Pop
  7. Here's a simple linebreeding plan that a lot of folks use. You can add a new rooster at any point and start from the top again.

    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  8. Pele

    Pele Songster

    Feb 25, 2011
    Inbreeding isn't as much of an issue in simpler creatures as it is in complex creatures. As the others have said, you'd need to inbreed down a lot of generations before you notice any defects. The reason it's so taboo in humans is that our brains are so complex that mental defects pop up really easily with inbreeding. Essentially, it's not as much of a tragedy if you end up with a dumb chicken. [​IMG]

    However, keep in mind that if you keep inbreeding, you are eliminating nature's most powerful weapon against disease resistance. Re-combination of genetic material from differing sources keeps your line robust and disease resistant.

    So to simplify... just put in a new rooster after your next hatch and you won't have to worry [​IMG]
  9. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Really great information everyone. Thanks to all who replied!!!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by