|Posted by Bama Red on May 24, 2011 at 1:40 PM|
How I Made and Maintained My Family Part I by Ray Boles
After many years of breeding the Sweaters I came up with thedesired characteristics I was looking for. Most of the Sweaters I got would notbreed uniform and could not be inbreed. It is almost impossible to breed fowlthat have a lot of different genes in them. Of the first mating I chose thebest brother and sister and bred them. I did this for four generations, eachyear selecting the most perfect in every way. Why did I do this? The genes inyou that have any effect in your looks and performance usually go back at least4 generation, some times more but mostly 4 generation. So I bred 4 generation,each year discarding any thing I did not like and breeding the ones with what Iwas looking for. This is the way I (locked) the genes. After the genes havebeen locked they are all the same. If you breed mother to son they are stillthe same, if you breed father to daughter they are all still the same. So whenyou line breed from here all the genes are still the same. So you fowl will alllook the same and perform the same. Each year you still look for the very bestto carry own the family. By now you should have many brood pens and a largerselection to make your choices from. If you do not lock the genes this is whatwill happen. When you breed mother to son you will have 3/4 of her blood, whenyou breed father to daughter you will have 3/4 his blood. And you still havetwo different families. What I mean is they will not perform the same and eachtime you breed them it will change.
To give you my reason for locking the genes, is in theknowledge of genetics. With out getting to technical, a hen will passmitochondrial genes to her son that he can not pass on. She will also not passany genes on her sex link side to her daughter. The mitochondrial gene is wheremost mutation, diseases and genetics disorders take place, so it is importantto know where they came from if you should have any problems in this area. Sothe mating of brother to sister will give the pullet the sex link genes she didnot get from her mother. So now you should have as close a blend of genes ofthe host fowl that can be obtained. I breed this way so I will not have towonder how my birds will look and perform each year. When you add outside bloodto your fowl their genetic makeup will never be the same. There is no suchthing as breeding back to pure. You can only breed back to a standard and thisis usually appearance. If you get fowl from one breeder and breed it to fowlfrom another you are starting out with about a six way cross. If they come outOK that is great but try to keep them coming year after year. The next yearwhen you breed the same pair you are likely to get entirely different fowl.Because their genes were never locked and you are getting traits from theirancestors.
This is how I have improved my fowl. By now you should have50 or so hens and stags. It is to your advantage to have as many fowl as youcan afford to choose the ones to keep the family going. By intense observationof your young fowl you will in time see those that seem to be smarter,stronger, better station and etc. These are the ones you choose to breed back.Without a lot of mixed up genes to deal with you will see these goodcharacteristics passed on to the next generation. In time it will becomedifficult to choose because all your fowl will be identical. These fowl are notonly brood fowl but should be excellent battle fowl. If you can not fight your fowlpure why do you keep them.
Most families are ruined my adding new blood or by making abad choice in the ones you select to breed back. INTELLIGENT SELECTION is thename of the game. I can not over emphasize the importance of having as manyfowl as possible to make your selection from.
Some will say that inbreeding makes a smaller gene pool. Iwould rather have a small gene pool with all quality genes as a large one witha lot of good and bad genes. Environment plays a big role in the out come ofyour breeding. As a matter of fact it is 50%. You can send your fowl to afriend as far away as possible and later bring this blood back to infuse againwith your family. A different location can some time improve you birds, but itmight also change them for the worst. This is the way I breed and it has workedfor me. It may sound controversial but I will leave it to your discretion. Ihave maintained my Sweaters in this manner for the last 10 years with out anyadverse affects or with out any out side infusion. After a couple years youwill have enough brood pens so you can breed for several years without breedingthe same birds. Birds that have not been breed to each other for several generationsis like adding new blood. I am certain that my fowl are better than the first Iobtained. I do believe this is the best way to make and maintain a family offowl for generations to come. I hope this has been of some interest andentertaining to you.
How I Made and Maintained My Family Part II by Ray Boles
I am sure after reading my breeding method there are thosethat are saying (this guy is nuts). I am sure there were some that understoodit, some that got part of it and others that still have no idea what I amtalking about. In this article I will add some papers on genetics which I hopewill help you understand why I breed as I do. I believe that our so called purefowl are at the point of being so genetically mixed up that they are lacking inalmost every aspect of what we are striving to obtain. Adding new bloods andout crossing are doing more harm than good. When using my method I hope otherswill make new families. Then they can be maintained and improved with properselection. When we can produce fowl that are more consistent we will be makingprogress. When I say consistent, I mean fowl that you will know how they willlook and how they will perform even before they are hatched.
The genetic papers will add insight on a lot of the breedingmethods of the past which had no real validity. I am sure there have beenbreeding methods passed down that were done with good intentions, but have donemore harm than good. One of the reasons I added the papers is because withscientific backing people will tend to believe what I am saying more. Yet somewill ignore it completely because of the old breeding methods that have been programmedinto them... It is my opinion that we have not made the advancements in oursport as we should have, especially in breeding. Our pure fowl have declinedbecause of environmental reasons or poor selection. Most do not realize whatharm that is done when adding outside blood to pure fowl. When you create yourown family you will know exactly what is in them and what to expect. The oldpure fowl performed as well as the crosses and many old breeders fought purefowl. There is no reason that your pure fowl can not perform as good ascrosses.
The main reason crossed fowl seem to perform better isbecause the pure families have declined so greatly that when any new blood wasadded it appeared to help.
If you will look up the words (hybrid vigor). I think youwill see it has been misused when pertaining to our sport. When you have toraise hundreds of bird just to have a few to fight, something is wrong. I thinkwe have been led into thinking that the only thing to do is to cross fowl isdoing more harm than good. For every cross that produces good fowl there was athousand that was a waste of time. The main reason for this is fowl that are sogenetically mixed up that you can not be sure of the outcome. Some where itappears we have stop thinking for ourselves. Instead of researching the newsciences of breed we have been content to do thing the old way. There has beengreat advancement made in breeding if you will search them out. The poultryindustry started basically the same fowl that we did. Although they breed inanother direction look at the advancements they have made.
Our sport is behind in research and development in the U.S.because it is mostly not legal .If it were there would be monies to be made andmore companies and corporations would get involved. I some of the countrieswhere the sport is legal is where most of our advancements will be made. Mexicoand the Philippine Islands have made much advancement in research in the last 4or 5 years. Never stop thinking, the human brain is a marvelous gift from God,so get the most out of it you can. I hope this may in some way help someone.The best of luck with your breeding. And may God bless you.