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Chicken Breeding & Genetics

Chicken Breeding and Genetics

Articles and guides about breeding chickens and their genetics.

Table of Contents:

Articles are grouped in topics as follows:

  1. Breeding Chickens
  2. Poultry Genetics

If the noise of a male bird crowing isn’t going to disturb your neighbours, then you might want to start breeding chickens.

There are several reasons we breed from our chickens: to produce birds to show, to increase the size of our flock, to sell fertile eggs or birds, to improve our bloodlines or simply to enjoy incubating and hatching your own chicks.

You will find some articles below to help you start breeding and some more advanced topics on selecting birds for the breeding pen and making your own line of birds and fixing specific traits into your line. 

Once you start chicken breeding, (and believe me, it can be very addictive hatching chicks!) you will soon be selecting birds for the breeding pen. You may not realise it, but by selecting birds, you are applying genetics that will affect the future generations of birds you hatch. If you want to improve your understanding of poultry genetics, we have several basic articles to help you get started with this complex subject.

Featured Articles:

Breeding Chickens

From the beginner’s guide, to choosing equipment, housing, feeding and choosing the right type of birds for your setup, these articles should cover all you need to know to get started raising backyard chickens!

Breeding Chickens

Breeding Chickens

If you are considering breeding chickens for sale or expanding your flock’s size, then one of the most rewarding ways to do this is by

Making your own line of chickens

Making your Own Line of Birds

If you are familiar with showing and breeding then you will almost certainly recognise the reference to a ‘line’ or a ‘strain’ and this becomes immediately

Head of White Sultan Chicken

Fixing Specific Traits into your Line

Following on from Making your Own Line of birds, Laurence Beeken looks at how to fix specific traits into your line and how to introduce fresh blood when necessary.

Breeding in Numbers

Whether you are an experienced poultry breeder or relatively new to the hobby, there are some common factors which have to be learnt in order to

Poultry Genetics

Genetics can be a complex subject, but these articles explain some of the principles in a non-technical manner.

Poultry Genetics Black and Red Pigments

Poultry Plumage: How it Begins…

Anyone writing an article on the subject of poultry plumage has to begin with the 2 pigments that account for all the beautiful colours and

Silver Dutch Bantam

The Other Type of Gold (Red)

When learning about how Gold and Silver genes work in poultry, it can be very gratifying to realise that much can be made of the sex-linked

Black and White

Poultry Genetics: Black and White

Black crossed to white? A common question in relation to breeding is: what will be the outcome of crossing a black to a white fowl? The answer

Dominent White

The Dominant White Gene

The word ‘gene’ is enough to put many people off when it comes to poultry articles. However, let me assure you, I don’t intend to

Lavender Gene

The Lavender Gene

The lavender variety of poultry is very beautiful. The effect is born from the lavender gene being present in a black fowl and reducing the quantity

Questioning Colour

Questioning Colour

As I alluded to in a recent article on the subject, there are many factors that got me interested in colour genetics of poultry. One of


white cockerels

Why is my Cockerel White?

My first flock of hens were some Warren Browns, and were essentially spent stock from a local egg producer. My first cockerel was a traditionally

Sex Linked Crosses

Sex-Linked Crosses and their Offspring

Crossing genetically gold and silver birds can result in a useful sex linkage. Still, it only works one way around, and there are often questions about the offspring they produce.


Autosexing Poultry

Autosexing breeds are pure breeds of poultry that have different coloured male and female young as day-olds.

Genetic Faults

Recessive Genes / Faults

When assessing your rearing stock and noticing an obvious fault, it can be very disheartening. An otherwise-fine specimen is ruined for show and breeding. However, If

Gold and Silver Sex Linkage

Gold and Silver Sex-Linkage

Many years ago, a group of scientists in Cambridge discovered that certain characteristics are passed down from parent birds to their sons and not their

Blue Bird Colour Genetics

Colour Genetics Of Blue Birds

If blue birds (genetic code Bb) are mated together, they throw a percentage of ‘off’ colours in their progeny (youngsters), the probability being 25% blacks

Chickens: Categories

Where would you like to go now?

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Chicken Breeds Pages

The A-Z of all 93 standardised breeds plus information on Hybrids which are ideal for beginners.

General Chickens Section

Keeping Chickens

General articles, guides, and information about raising backyard chickens at home or on an allotment.

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Incubation, Hatching & Brooding

Articles about incubating, hatching eggs and brooding your baby chicks.


Rehoming Commercial Hens

From finding ex-battery hens to caring for their extra needs during Free Range retirement.

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Breeding Chickens & Genetics

Articles on breeding chickens, including more advanced topics on the genetics of poultry.