Posts Tagged ‘livestock’

incubator eggs

incubator eggs

Clan Mating or also called Family Mating is a breeding plan to insure good genetic diversity in a small flock or herd. While this system can be used with any type of livestock, obviously we are going to focus on quail.

In order to do clan mating you will need at least 6 birds, 3 male, 3 female. You tag or group the three separate clans with 1 male and at least 1 unrelated female per clan or family. For arguments sake lets assign them group colors for this discussion. I have a red, yellow, and green groups. Why? Because when I ordered the leg bands that is what colors were available for order, no other reason.

For this system to work you need to isolate each clan for breeding purposes to be sure of who fathered the chicks. I actually use three separate cages for my breeders, but if you don’t have that option you will need at least two separate cages. One for the main flock and one for the isolated breeding clan. Typically I recommend waiting two weeks after isolating the breeding clan, this will allow for any non-clan related breeding to have worked itself out. What I mean by this is if you are raising your quail in a colony cage with several males of different clans, your females may have been recently breed by a non-clan related male. After two weeks of isolation, any eggs you collect for incubation are guaranteed to be from breeding with the clan related male during isolation.

Then once the chicks are hatched you assign the females to the color or clan of the mother and the males to the next color or clan. So for example, when I am breeding and incubating the “red” clan in my system. The females will get a red leg band and stay apart of that clan. The males will get a yellow band and become apart of the next clan. When I am breeding the “yellow” clan, the female chicks remain yellow and the males get a green band. Finally, when breeding the “green” clan the female chicks remain green and the males get a red bad.

This system allows for sufficient genetic diversity in your flock with the minimal size flock of six birds. It is easy to run and doesn’t require a lot of complicated setup.

Take to the comments below with any questions or additional thoughts on clan mating quail flocks! Thanks!

Well looks like summer and the drought are coming to an end in the mid west.  I was very happy when I realized for the for the first time in a while that all my birds laid yesterday. I think they are relieved to have cooler weather, I know I am.  So now I start to think about winter.  I really need to get some heated water bottles for the winter.  I didn’t over-winter any birds last year, which is sad since it wasn’t all that cold.  But I am sure when I decide to keep some this season it will be a long and cold brutal winter.  🙂  Anyway, I will for sure be keeping the rabbits, so might as well keep the birds and get a head start on spring.  I am planing to devise some sort of removable cover for the cages to keep the drafts down and like I mentioned heated water bottles.  Two winters ago I moved them into the shed, but it of course has filled with other items since then so looks like it is is the great outdoors for the birds and bunnies this year.

On an unrelated note, I follow Gaye Levy on the site Backdoor Survival and there was a discussion of Raising Livestock. I had to agree with the premise that if you don’t do it yourself, it doesn’t work. I personally believe that quail are a good way to get started. There is the instant gratification of eggs and they are low maintenance compared to larger animals. Anyone have any thoughts on other good starter animals?