The Practical Aspects of Inbreeding
Bill “The Book” Richardson (edited)
We have all heard of inbreeding; however, what makes this subject unique and confusing is that in itself, there is no practical purpose to inbreeding. By this, I mean that inbreeding is not the goal, and if we were to stop there, the experiment would be a big disappointment. It is really the first step in a two-step process. For inbreeding to be of any value, we must get to the second step, which is hybridization. Although we are not going to discuss hybridization today, it suffices to say that it is based on the crossing of two unrelated pigeons that are inbred.
While I have seen fanciers use inbreeding to preserve the blood of a great pigeon, this really isn’t too practical either. If it happens to be a pigeon that is part of a line-bred family, its inbred offspring will either increase the inbreeding coefficient of the next linebred mating, or it must be relegated to out-crossing to produce hybridization. Sure, there is no real guarantee as to the percentage of inbreeding in any pigeon, but I am still not wild about spending all of your time trying to save the past. I remember the past and it wasn’t as great as people try to make it sound.