Wednesday 22 May 2013

New Ixworth genes

Rare breeds like the Ixworth can easily become inbred, they don't have enough genetic variation, like the aristocracy and tend to become infertile. That seems to be what has happened to mine. to try to solve the problem I have bought eggs from four other breeders in Cornwall, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Leicestershire. Hopefully the geographical distribution will lead to an increase in genetic variation.

I have to be able to identify where they came from so they have coloured leg rings. the rings have to be changed as the birds grow otherwise the flesh grows round them so they now have new leg wear.

Only 9 hatched from the 24 eggs, 5 of them from the Cornish eggs. I should be able to put together at least 2 breeding trios of an unrelated cockerel and two hens.

The aim is to keep the breed going. You never know, someday the market might want chicken with flavour and texture.

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