The American Buckeye Poultry Club
|Line Breeding Using Spiral Breeding for Poultry |
Many breeders of purebred poultry use line breeding with their flocks. A more
complicated, yet more effective way to line breed is to Spiral Breed. To do this, maintain
three lines - Line A, Line B, Line C.
For Season 1, mate all males to females of their own line. Daughters of Season 1 are
added as breeders to the line that produced them (they stay with their mothers.) Sons are
compared to their fathers for quality.
In Season 2, mate the C line male to the B line females, mate the B line male to the A
line females, mate the A line male to the C line females - rotating them.
Females from Season 2 are added to the line that produced them alongside their mothers.
The best son of the C line male mated to the B line females is kept and mated to the B
line females; same for other matings, old cocks are retired.
Once the system is up and running, males are used twice, then retired in preference to a
son. Males rotate one line over every other year. This gives you a year of outcross and a
year of line breeding.
Spiral Breeding is a very old system. There is one breeder and his family that reputedly
maintained a line of Rhode Island Reds for 90 years on this system, he and his family
kept five matings each year.
Thanks to Moorehouse, Schrider, & McCary for the basis of this info.