Grant Brereton (Author)
Grant Brereton has been breeding poultry for most of his life, starting off with some Light Sussex chickens when he was a child, to more recently, winning the Best Trio at the National with his Partridge Wyandotte Bantams.
Getting Partridge Wyandotte colours right is certainly not an easy task. Especially considering that they have to come from double mating (separate male / female breeding pens) and there are very few exhibition males left in existence.
Out of his 26 years of poultry breeding, Grant has spent 10 years test breeding and as a result of his extensive research in this area created this book. He is probably known by most as the editor of the excellent Fancy Fowl magazine in the UK.
This book has been long awaited by poultry breeders but being a novice when it comes to genetics, to be honest, I was a little worried about reviewing it. I was pleasantly surprised though, it is certainly not just for experienced breeders and I was able to improve my knowledge a great deal from this book without getting too confused!
There are many chapters covering the basics such as breeding in numbers, sourcing stock and improving a strain through selection, or making use of sex-linkage and these are described in an easy to understand manner. However, if you would like to get a little more advanced, you can learn about dominant and recessive genes, plumage colours, genetype or read up on one of the many popular genes such as the chocolate gene that seems to be very popular at the moment among Orpington breeders.
Grant shows 'step by step' pictures or what you could call 'generation to generation' plumage changes from some of his breeding work. The page below shows how he recreated the Pyle Wyandotte for example.
Grant covers somewhat technical subjects with ease, explaining many complex ideas in a very straight-forward way. His explanations are backed up with examples from his own breeding tests or well known breeders and he has included many colour photographs of the birds and their offspring to show the theory working in practice.
The images from the book should give you a feel for the presentation of the book, as you will see, there are many excellent colour photographs throughout.
In addition to the information presented on genetics and breeding, the book covers many of the popular breeds that are kept such as the Orpington, Sussex, Pekin Bantam, Silkie, and Old English Game with hints and tips throughout.
If you are serious about breeding, or would simply like to learn about poultry genetics, then 21st Century Poultry Breeding is a good choice for you. The book is available from Grant's website: GBPoultry
Images are copyright and reproduced with the permission of the publisher.