Whatever

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Hen-Gen
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Whatever

Post by Hen-Gen » Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:03 pm

Such are the long silences on this forum that I find myself scratching around for anything to say just to elicit a response. What’s occurring? Has everyone migrated to Facebook? There was a time when Practical Poultry was alive with information and argument, in fact some that ended in suspension of membership.

Anyhow. My main breeding pen for the coming Spring has two Dominique hens and a Dominique cockerel. He is actually the nephew of the hens. I hope that this won’t create problems. I hatched some Cream Legbars, from eBay, this year that were beset with twisted feet that I attribute to inbreeding. I’ve learnt over the years with Cairn Terriers, Weimaraners and Gloster Canaries that inbreeding is a tool to be used sparingly.
Anyway in with the afore mentioned breeding trio is a Blue Jersey Giant. This could potentially yield some Blue Barred offspring. This is a colour variety that is not acceptable in any breed of chicken. And yet a google image search shows that this can be very attractive indeed. But last year she went broody in March and subsequently proved herself to be the most persistent broody I have ever owned. Hopefully this year I’ll get 6 to 8 eggs for hatching. Underneath her slate coloured legs is yellow skin. So hopefully the addition of the barring gene, which removes dark pigment, will give chicks with yellow legs.
Having said that, it has been my experience over the years that the theories on the inheritance of chicken plumage colour are only generalised and should come with caveats about exceptions when other genes are present.
It has to be said though that the genetics of livestock breeding has been an enduring and fascinating passion. In fact it is one of the defining things of my life. It’s probably a good thing that I have no children or I’d have strayed into some very dodgy areas of eugenics.
As a subscriber to New Scientist I am aware that we are on the cusp of some very important discoveries that have the potential to remove all heritable diseases from our species. Some fear this “brave new world”. I anticipate it with excitement. One famous scientist was recently asked what he thought was the single most important discovery in recent years. He replied gene editing.
So lots of points to stimulate discussion. Bring it on!
bigyetiman
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Re: Whatever

Post by bigyetiman » Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:37 pm

Genetics is fascinating Hen-Gen. Needs to be in safe hands though. I feel the chance to remove certain hereditary diseases i.e Cystic Fibrosis is a good thing.
By chance I heard a programme on the radio which was about advances in treating deafness with ear implants etc and a specialist was saying that one day deafness will be treated as easily as a cold. Some people were quite vociferous in that if a person is born deaf they should stay that way, and several parents said they were refusing to let their child have an implant.
On another line there is growing replacement body parts as well
MrsBiscuit
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Re: Whatever

Post by MrsBiscuit » Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:00 pm

I think that many/most people are on FB now, talking about poultry alongside everything else. I think we are definitely in the minority. However, I know that come November, come the depressing wet, grey days and harking back to when I did have a flock of my own, all I could do was scuttle out to get them up and then scuttle out at 4pm or whenever to shut them up. It wasn't the most joyous of chicken keeping seasons for me. The ground would be wet and the garden looked dead. The occasional bright sunny day was so cheering, but in general my memories are of cold hands, wet hands and mud! I couldn't even bring myself to look ahead and plan the next breeding campaign, it was all about hunkering down and possibly going to a show or two to enjoy somebody else's hard work. I could never understand why the 2 big shows are in Nov/Dec as the birds often look rubbish with the moult, and their egg laying and egg laying signs (eg combs) are also in decline.

I am hopeless at genetics, my brain freezes, its like algebra to me, hard work. Having said that, I did try to take it seriously, because I tried to breed to standard. My first thought about your JG girl is that she must be about 3 times the size of your dominiques! I have said on here before that I quite fancy keeping JGs, I love large LF! Good luck with it all HG.

My uncle was deaf from a child but not birth, my mother always says it was such a shame, how that with the best will in the world he missed out on so much, and it was. I can't begin to comprehend how someone could deny someone else the full spectrum of participation and enjoyment of what the rest of us take for granted.
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rick
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Re: Whatever

Post by rick » Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:10 pm

That was very odd! I wrote a whole lot about an Asimov story I read a long time ago which had something to do with editing history - a bit like editing genes but then suddenly the message disappeared - probably a good thing - it was pretty hyperbolic!
Just got to hope that something coming out of Pandora's ever accelerating box is a useful piece of the jigsaw rather than more diversions!
Would we fix Van Gogh? The answer has got to be yes,,, Do we only appreciate that stuff because its framed in suffering and if there wasn't any then we would appreciate something else?

Why is blue barred unacceptable Hen-Gen? I cant really imagine what that would look like.
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Hen-Gen
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Re: Whatever

Post by Hen-Gen » Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:57 pm

29BB3EFC-8019-4E12-8E79-1744C191E6C0.jpeg
29BB3EFC-8019-4E12-8E79-1744C191E6C0.jpeg (203.77 KiB) Viewed 364 times
That’s it.
I don’t really know why this colour has not been incorporated into any breed standard.
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rick
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Re: Whatever

Post by rick » Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:40 pm

Wow! Like a mosaic in blue. Beautiful!
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LadyA
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Re: Whatever

Post by LadyA » Fri Nov 23, 2018 10:23 am

Oh, she's beautiful!! I don't know anything about genetics and breeding. But I know a gorgeous looking hen when I see one!

Hen Gen remember you posted a pic a while ago of a cow, and I was saying that I'd never seen one like it, that all we had around here were friesens and Angus? A Galloway, I think it was? Shaggy, small beast?

Would you believe, a week or so ago, I was on my way over to daughters, and what should I see in a field, but about 8 or 9 of the self same beasts! I was astonished, they really stand out because there's never been anything like them around here before! They look like very hardy animals, and will probably suit the land they are on. It's very exposed, bordering the sea on one side.
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
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Hen-Gen
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Re: Whatever

Post by Hen-Gen » Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:08 am

Absolutely LadyA. Apart from the Highland (those big shaggy brown things with horns like a buffalo) the Galloway is probably the hardiest breed around. They have to be to survive the wet, windy Galloway Hills and to draw sustenance from the poorest of grazing. In fact ideally suited to here.
Great to read that you’ve seen some. I think more and more farmers are waking up to what a practical breed they are. Except, as I said before, you do not want to go into their field when they have newborn calves!😬

As an aside my cow partner, who has over 300 acres, is a vegetarian. This causes consternation in these parts. He has them for what is called conservation grazing. They eat out all the long or coarse grasses and leave the land in an ideal condition for wild flowers and breeding, upland birds. Since I too am interested in ecosystem management this is an ideal arrangement. For this reason he does not apply fertiliser, cut for silage and create a green desert that is devoid of wildlife! He fences off wet, marshy areas to preserve them as breeding grounds for those kinds of birds that need this kind of habitat. Fortunately the RSPB pay him to do this. On his land he has more pairs of breeding Red Necked Phalaropes than the rest of Britain combined. I only say this to show the difference that one man can make.
MrsBiscuit
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Re: Whatever

Post by MrsBiscuit » Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:56 am

Inspiring, please tell him so. In Portugal there is a divide between people who ladle weedkiller on every square inch to let the olives and crops flourish, and those who don't. This is a beautiful country and I suspect the diversity is huge; I certainly have seen more insects here than ever before in my life. A few months ago OH met some entomologists who were looking for bees. They said that in the UK we have around 250 species of bee, but in Portugal nobody had any idea. They had found one that morning, tiny, smaller than the finger nail on your little finger, and they thought it might be a 'new' one. They are slowly publishing field guides, but I can't imagine the circulation is very high.
bigyetiman
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Re: Whatever

Post by bigyetiman » Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:57 pm

Wow that is a beautiful hen.
Animals are definitely natures best lawnmowers. They use cattle on Rainham Marsh as they leave nice tussocky areas which are great for breeding Redshank and Lapwing.
I remember visiting Leonardslee gardens which had the most amazing Azaleas and Rhodedendrons, they used wallabies to keep the grass short, as they didn't mind working weekends and bank holidays and every year produced replacement lawn mowers. Sadly the gardens were sold a few years ago and the new owner now keeps it for his own personal use. It was a lovely place to stroll
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