Last summer we bought a bunch of hens and baby chicks from a local couple. Of course we didn’t know it then, but there were a few roosters along with the young hens we’d purchased. Now that they are big enough to know that they are roosters and are jumping on the hens, I’ve been wondering if it matters that they are inbreeding with their sisters or possibly their mama. I don’t exactly want a bunch of deformed chicks running around!
After doing a lot of reading though, it seems it’s not really a big deal if your chickens inbreed. Eventually, you might want to introduce new blood into the line, but it’s not gonna hurt if siblings mate. A couple of signs that will tell you it’s time to get some non-related chickens in the mix is when hatch rates begin to significantly decline, or birth deformities begin to occur. Be sure to monitor egg production and fertility as well, as these can be effected after several generations of inbreeding. Be sure to get rid of any chicks with undesirable traits so as not to breed these bad genes into another generation.
But all in all, it’s unlikely to be a major problem. Some breeders actually prefer to continuously inbreed in order to get the most desirable traits possible. So, if your little rooster jumps on Mama hen… don’t worry about it, that’s just the way nature is designed!