What is line breed­ing?

Your Chickens - - Ask Our Experts -

QCould you ex­plain what is meant by line breed­ing? I’ve heard the term used but I’m not re­ally sure what it means.

AAndy Cawthray says: A ‘line’ is also known as a ‘strain’. It is a re­lated pop­u­la­tion of chickens. Line breed­ing is when a su­pe­rior qual­ity cock or hen is used for breed­ing with its best op­po­site sex off­spring in an at­tempt to con­cen­trate the best qual­i­ties of the orig­i­nal par­ent and its best off­spring. This process is re­peated with each gen­er­a­tion’s best off­spring be­ing mated back to the pre­ferred par­ent.

Some lines will fail, as this type of breed­ing can con­cen­trate not only the de­sir­able qual­i­ties but also the un­de­sir­able within a short pe­riod of time. To be successful a good line breed­ing plan is re­quired, along with main­te­nance of a num­ber of lines or strains so ad­di­tional ‘lines’ can be cre­ated with a view to re­mov­ing the un­de­sir­able traits.

Birds pro­duced by line breed­ing

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