One of the problems with rare breeds is the small breeding population and the resulting lack of genetic variation which tens to lower fertility, like inbreeding in the aristocracy. This has happened with mine so in 2012 I got hatching eggs from four other breeders spread out around the country and I now have nine birds including a superb cockerel and two very good pullets that are not related to him. This winter I'll put the three together to produce a new generation with more genetic variation but at the same time all of the characteristics of the breed.
After writing this post I thought, "I'll ask the Cotswold Farm Park if they would like some of my Ixworth hatching eggs". Had a reply from Mike Caunter the livestock manager, yes they would, so I'll send them a dozen in the new year.
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