Its a year of bringing in new blood in certain breeding programs, so expect to see different small amount of very select birds, rabbits and sheep to be added in over the coming year.
While I am far more willing to line breed then most and even willingly choose to inbreed at times on new stock to get answers on genetics and or to lock in certain traits I want to see passed on.
I firmly believe in a combo of the above with a matched amount of outcrossing. For me at least, when I am speaking to fellow farmers, right or wrongly, this subject shows the old timers, vs the new farmers, homesteaders and the just learning.. or the sellers.
So lets give a example of the two version of this..
Hi, I am looking for a new male drake, what can you tell me about this boy you have for sale? All three birds are unrelated, so its a perfect breeding bird for you to bring in.. Hmm, so did you buy all the birds from a different breeders or ? a) ya I got them from different sources and have been breeding them for one or two years b) No I got them all from the same place but they told me all unrelated.
That phone call above tell me that they have read some books, that the odds are good that the birds are well cared for, well feed, and that they are total unknown, they are new blood but they are “unknown new blood”
Now lets have the second phone call,
Hi, I am looking for a new drake, so what can you tell me about that boy?
Well, I have been breeding this line for ten years now, the average weight on the females is nine pounds and the average dressed weight on the males is 13, the hens are good sitters and average two clutches a year at x amount of ducklings, the colors they are carry are this, now three gens back I double line breed in blue, so even if you get that black, it carries blue, Now if you want, I got a different line bred line that is a really nice black but its in breed to carry chocolate. When you come, I can show you, this drakes full brother from two years ago, he is a brute and I got a couple of his daughters you can look at as well if you want..
See the difference, now someone is going to say to me, but farmgal, not everyone wants or has the space to do a “breeding” program and you are not wrong on that, but right or wrongly, as a breeder myself, I will buy from both, but I have to treat them very differently, the ones from the breeders come in with backgrounds and I know how to breed them to pull the best out of them while blending them into my own goals.
The unknowns, well.. they are different, they need to be linebreed and inbreed to get to that point of finding out the information that didn’t come with them, and that means at least three to four years of inbreeding in some form before I have enough data to use them in the same way as the one bought from the breeder..
So here is my new drake..