purebred chicksWhen it comes to chickens, it’s hard to necessarily pick a “bad” breed out of all the good ones. Every type of chicken has its strengths and weaknesses, and each type works best for different owners. One of the nice things about the different breeds is that we know so much about them at this point that we can pretty accurately predict certain aspects of their character based entirely on our understanding of their breed. But when you start cross breeding, things can get complicate. Here’s why there’s an advantage to having purebred chickens.

The core difference between a purebred and a hybrid chicken is the pedigree. A purebred will come from two parents of the same breed for as far back as you can trace, meaning that the traits inherent to that specific breed will continue on unimpeded. Let’s say the breed is known for its broodiness. Selecting a chicken from that particular breed will be relatively simple to plan for as said breed is already known to be broody, so you know what to most likely expect there.

With a hybrid breed though, you are getting a mixed bag, and specifically you’re getting a mystery, to some extent. You’ll figure out what the new mixture is like once it starts displaying certain qualities, but before it’s grown enough, there’s no way of predicting what it could act like. You may have very strict noise requirements in your area and need to select a chicken that won’t make much noise, but if you go with a hybrid, you could very well have a noisy bird, whereas if you had found a purebred from a breed known for being quiet, the same problem does not occur.

Furthermore, there’s a general belief that purebreds have inherent problems and need to be cross bred in order to fix some longstanding problems. This is true for cats and dogs as inbreeding is a big issue with some purebreds there, but the same does not hold for chickens. At this point there are no breeds that have inherent defects or things to watch for other than certain breeds that are more susceptible to cold or certain breeds that require more care for their feathers, but thus far all purebred breeds are quite strong.

The fact is, adding a variable to breeding when it comes to chickens is just inviting complications with flock preparations. You make it more difficult to plan for the future since there’s no telling how a new hybrid of chicken will act in a given situation. Of course, this isn’t to discourage scientific breeding or the active attempt to perfect a new breed with a specific purpose, similar to how many breeds currently were bred specifically to lay eggs faster or grow up bigger. This is just a general caution for the inexperienced chicken farmer.

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