Can chickens be interbred? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

One quick question. Can chickens be interbred without any genetic or laying problems? I am not talking about show birds, just farm flock. Thanks in advance!

-- Karen (, March 18, 2002



If you mean crossing a leghorn on a Rhode Island red, or a Plymouth rock on a Delaware, of course you can do it without problems. However, the crosses you choose will determine how useful the resulting chickens are. For example, you would not get much of a meat chicken if you crossed a white leghorn cock on a silkie.

Some of the most useful birds are crosses. The original birds that were used to found our present broiler lines were white cornish games and white rocks. The best brown-egg laying hen is the Production red, a crossbreed. A number of crosses have been developed that permit the breeder to color-sex the chicks at hatching.

Go take a look at any stockman's pasture. What you see are mostly crossbreds. Same with chickens, they are useful, but watch what you cross.


-- Jimmy S (, March 18, 2002.

Yes. The mutts can be some of the sweetest chickens.

-- Buk (, March 18, 2002.

I have several really beautiful crosses that I wish I could duplicate.

-- cowgirlone in OK (, March 18, 2002.

Are you talking about inbreeding rather than crossbreeding different breeds? If so, you have more potential for problems with inbreeding, but if your original stock is not too closely related, and they don't have any noticeable problems, you should do ok at least for awhile.

I have both ducks and chickens that free range, so it's a little hard to control inbreeding. Haven't had any problems at all so far, even with several generations of inbreeding. With the chickens, I have no idea who's related to whom at this point and we still have big healthy birds who are excellent layers and setters. Ours of course are just a farm flock, basically Aracauna and Black Australorp with a little Polish and Bantie thrown in. I wouldn't do this with most livestock without seriously studying the different lines and knowing what you're doing, but with backyard poultry it really isn't a big deal as you don't have much invested anyway. You can always eat your mistakes. :)

-- Lenette (, March 18, 2002.

I once read about a man who raised fighting chickens . hE BRED A GAME HEN TO HER sons for nine generations with no problems . I have also read that some raisers of show chickens do this quite often . I see no problems with an occasional breeding. After all you dont breed chickens for their brains !

-- George Wilson (, March 18, 2002.

Yes! You might not be pleased with what you get but some can be very Interesting.

-- Corky Wolf (, March 18, 2002.

Is advisable to interbreed a pure breed once in a while, if not the breed gets weak, the hybrid bring streanght to the breed, and if you like the original breed you just breed the hybrid with pure blood again and in two generations or less, you have pure blood physically again with some new genes. I understand with pigs you must do this all the time, so they dont get weak. Some time a very pure pool of genes it's not good at all.

-- Ralph Roces (, March 18, 2002.

If you have pure-bred birds, you wouldn't want to interbreed, but if they're hatchery birds, why not! I have Standards and Bantams, various breeds, and a bunch of roosters. They all free range together during the day and roost together at night. My purpose of having the birds is strictly for pesticide engineers, and they do a great job of keeping the insect population down around here. They live out their lives here. So, I don't care who breeds whom, as long as they keep eating those pesky bugs! :^)

-- ~Rogo (, March 19, 2002.

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