This is when the flock is divided into families. Each family will be bred separately and
either the rooster or hen's lines will be used. The roosters and hens of the same clan are not
used for breeding. Often 3 sets of clans can be used, when using the maternal lines. The
birds should be identified and also the eggs. A rooster can be used to mate with the hens of
the all 3 clans. Chicken fanciers use this method.
This is when a pair creates pullets and cockerels. These sons and daughters will be allowed
to mate with family members. The genetic lines are preserved but sometimes you will ex-
perience certain family weaknesses which can worsen with family breeding.
This form of breeding is using a new rooster every year to fertilize the hens. The rooster
will not be the same breed as the hens so that cross breeding is practiced.
Cross breeding is when birds of different breeds are mated to produce certain characterist-
ics and enhance traits. This is practiced to produce the best egg layers or meat producing
chickens and sometimes results in problems for the birds. The birds that are cross bred for
fast growth can experience chronic hunger and also skeletal problems. These hybrid breeds
are often kept in bad conditions and treated like machines. Now steps are being taken to
improve these chickens' welfare.
Chicken fanciers also cross breed chickens to get beautiful birds for show. An example of
this would be the English bantam breed the Sebright. This bird has been especially bred for
the pattern of its plumage. It is quite hard to breed duplicates of this beautiful plumage.
This is when the same pair of birds is used for a number of years to breed stock birds.
This form of breeding was perfected by the “cockers” or fighting cock experts. If they
found a pair of chickens that produced good performers in the pit then they would use them
for as long as 5 years. Free range birds were generally used for breeding, so that the chick-
ens were able to reach optimum strength and prowess.