Key to improvment of any breed..... Jan 18, 2004 0:08:48 GMT -5
Post by Kickingbird on Jan 18, 2004 0:08:48 GMT -5
When breeding to try and perfect a trait(s) in your birds. One must first acertain wether or not the bird is geneticaly capible of the goal (i.e. carries the correct genes). Once the proper genes have been identified or imported the task at hand will be refining the trait. To do this grade all of your current stock on a scale of 1-10*. 1 being the least desireable, 10 being the most desireable.
Figure a test flock of ten hens and ten roosters to choose from
Average score from flock for desiered trait will be 5
Pick the BEST rooster, that is the top 10% of the population. Then pick the best two hens, the top 20% of the population. Hatch as many chicks from these birds as you can comfortably take care of. At this point the average score of your chicks if you grade them will be aproximately an average of the parents scores. In other words if your best rooster was an 8 and your two best hens scored 9 and 7 then your chicks average score would be (8+9+7)/ 3= 8.
In your first generation you raised your flock average from a 5 to an 8! THIS IS SIGNIFICANT IMPROVMENT! The scale you use will change every year. As you get your flock more refined you may find birds that would score over a 10 on your original scale, that is fine make the new measurments out of 15 BUT! use the same criteria that you did the previous year for scores 1-10, it's like striveing to break the record year after year.
Breeding in numbers will help, if you keep and breed 10 hens per year you will have much more progress if you have 100 hens to choose from rather than 20. The reason is if you have 100 you get to choose the best 10% of hens, if you only have 20 then you have to settle for the top 50% of hens and your genetic progress will be much slower.
As a side note the closer you get to your ideal bird the harder it will be to make improvments. Changes are much easier after a point than improvment of a breed.
The reason why all of this works is you have 100's of genes and 1000's of gene combinations, the more birds you breed the better chances you will get birds closer to what you want. When you find thoes birds they will give you more birds with thoes traits you are looking for and the beat goes on.
*Scoring criteria should be writen out in advance of juging and refered to when scoring breeding fowl every year, this will make advancements possible
I hope this helps someone!...LOL