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How long can you interbreed?

Posted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 1:20 pm
by pullum
Hi, I'm wondering how long you can interbreed within your flock. We have kept two roosters, an Australorp and a Barred Rock, who are the 2nd generation. Can we breed with them or is it best to get a new blood line in? If so, perhaps we could swap our roosters with someone? We are based in Hokitika.

Re: How long can you interbreed?

Posted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:13 pm
by Mitsy
The advice I have read is that this really all depends upon what genetic faults your birds are carrying, which may be fixed or exacerbated by inbreeding. In terms of health and vigour and productivity, it is best not to mate brother to sister, and best not to mate parent to offspring for multiple generations. Half-brother to half-sister or chicken to grandparent is better. So if your roosters are the result of brother to sister or parent to offspring matings, probably it is safer to now mate them with more distant relatives if you have them, or you could do an outcross. It's really up to you and what you are wanting to achieve.

Re: How long can you interbreed?

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:06 am
by Marina
I agree with Mitsy - it's up to how healthy your chicks are.

I only bring in fresh blood if I absolutely have to. I have line bred (father x daughter, mother x son) for decades now. Sometimes brother x sister. Occasionally I get a hatch where too many chicks have something like splayed leg or hatch rate is dismal (while other breeds of the same hatch do well). That's when it's time to bite the bullet and get a new rooster.