One more question about chickens.... : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Okay, one more question. Well, a couple, but all in one post :)

1. Can you breed crosses?? I've heard that you just get mutts by doing this but that it does work.

2. What about inbreeding? is it safe to do this?

Thank you!

-- Aubrey (, April 17, 2002


Yes, you can breed crosses. After all, Tecnecally speaking, A cross IS a mutt. You can get some really ugly chickens this way but you can get some really pretty ones also. They are yours to do with as you please and inbreeding is common with chickens. Experiment! Have fun!

-- corky wolf (, April 17, 2002.

Well Aubrey, there is a genetics forum on That said you CAN "cross" any animal of the same species(and many times of different species, then you get "mules".) If you cross a purebred anything, then another purebred of the same species but different "breeds" you get a mongrel or a mutt. So, If you have a pure bred Rhode Island Red and cross it with a purebred White Leghorn you have a "mutt" or a mongrel chicken. Same with dogs etc. Sometimes, crossing two "lines" or species gives something called "hybrid vigor" and that cross will grow faster, or produce faster than the two parents. But then you must use that original cross each time you wwant to get those same results. This only applies to certain breeds and certain species. With most casual crosses you just get mongrels. So why would you want to take something that took many generations to perfect and make mutts out of them? Just curious. As for the inbreeding, it is no different in people than it is in animals. It perpetuates faults, mental instability, poor stucture etc. A good book on breeding chickens would probably be of interest to you, genetics are fascinating! Have fun. LQ

-- Little Quacker (, April 17, 2002.

If you follow most of your PUREBREAD animals back far enough you will find crossbreeding. A lot of modern breeds are just a cross of older breeds. We like Buff Orpingtons and Wyandotte cross. Unless your showing birds don't worry about anything. You can eat your mistakes.

-- bergy (, April 17, 2002.

You MUST eat your mistakes - or cull somehow or other, whether cross- breeding or inbreeding or any breeding. Otherwise you risk ending up with something the size of a bantam, the meatiness of a leghorn, and the laying ability of a game hen. That would generally all be pro- survival for the bird, as it means it isn't "wasting" resources. It's probably not what you want though, so you have to start selecting out - keep the ones whose grandchildren you want to deal with - eat or collect eggs from or have children around the roosters. DON'T eat the ones that would make the best eating - those are the ones you want to breed.

-- Don Armstrong (, April 17, 2002.

Nearly all of today's Standard Breeds are really a cross breed from years gone by. I especially like the Wyandotte breed. I have read you can go a couple of generations with chickens before problems really start to show so I would not worry. Most likely they will NOT be small, deformed or look strange in anyway. They will however have traits from both parents so will NOT conform to "the Standard of Perfection." I personally think the Standard is over blown anyway. Chickens are not really anything like dogs. Most chicken breeds are VERY similar and the reason is they are the results of someone else cross breeding and inbreeding for certain traits.

So if they look pretty to you, you do not have to eat them or cull them. THey will lay eggs and run around the yard just fine. My "mutts" do! I have a Buff Cochin/Ameraucana out in the coop right now that is very broody. She picked this trait up from her Buff Cochen father. My Ameraucana hens never go broody. By the way, Ameraucana chickens are a VERY recent mutt turned into a standard from what I have read. I prefer to call them EasterEggers since they lay blue/green eggs.

I saw a bird at a neighbors farm that he claimed was a guinee (sp?) crossed with a wild turkey. It did look pretty funny! He said a guinee hen got loose in the woods, came back and hatched some eggs. It was not a Turken (naked neck chicken). I am sure it tasted just fine.

BossNass, Wisconsin

-- BossNass (, April 17, 2002.

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