Please take a responsible approach to breeding Croad Langshans.
The point of breeding Croad Langshans is to preserve their genes which have proved valuable in the past and will probably prove even more valuable in the future.
This means that they must be kept genetically pure and bred for the best characteristics of their breed and as close as possible to the late 19th century birds that were first brought from China.
Inbreeding then becomes a major problem especially in small, closed flocks. It has been recommended to keep at least 50 chickens, to be able to select and breed from a wide genetic pool. This requires a lot of space, money, time and dedication. Consider forming a group with other breeders to exchange stock.
If you want to help preserve Croad Langshans please consider the following points:
- It is best to concentrate on one single breed.
- Before you get chickens or eggs of any minor breed you should have experience in keeping and breeding chickens in general. You should also know the specific problems and requirements of your chosen breed. Getting chickens and losing them to predators, disease or general management mistakes will take genetic diversity away from the breed forever.
- Don’t rush into keeping a minor breed and then rush out again a year or two later.
- Indiscriminately breeding rare-breed animals, especially when rare breed females are bred to males outside of their breed, will result in quick deterioration of valuable genetics.
- A good knowledge of genetics and the principles of maintaining a breeding population are crucial.
- Every time new stock has to be brought in there is a danger of introducing disease. Practising good biosecurity is important.
- Keep a broad genetic base rather than breeding from a few ‘perfect’ individuals. However, a certain amount of line- and in-breeding must sometimes be done.
- Keep good records.
As a conservator, you accept stewardship of your chosen breed. It’s an enormous responsibility. Please think before you act.