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#5522481 - 01/05/15 09:02 PM Question about Exotic Stocking/In-breeding
miked1 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 08/25/13
Posts: 34
Recently purchased small acreage(220 acres), but, delays in fencing have kept me from purchasing any animals. However, I have a question regarding the stocking of exotics, or whitetails, for that matter. When you purchase only a few animals of a given species, should you be concerned with in-breeding? Say you purchase one buck and four females; the buck will eventually mate with his daughters and his daughter's daughters, if allowed. I am guessing this is not desirable. How do you avoid this situation? Do you remove the male after one or two generations? Any info is appreciated. Quite new to this process.

#5522495 - 01/05/15 09:08 PM Re: Question about Exotic Stocking/In-breeding [Re: miked1]
Aaron-Ibex Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 05/10/12
Posts: 1131
Loc: Texas
as far as I know line breeding is practiced with most animals. i do it with my ibex and I am almost certain whitetail breeders do it as well.
Aaron Gage

#5522558 - 01/05/15 09:30 PM Re: Question about Exotic Stocking/In-breeding [Re: miked1]
TonyinVA Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 03/24/14
Posts: 1806
Loc: Virginia, USA
You can google "line breeding" and read Aaron said, they do it with whitetails all the time.

#5522823 - 01/06/15 02:27 AM Re: Question about Exotic Stocking/In-breeding [Re: miked1]
Txnrog Offline

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 718
You can line breed, but it can create some real issues - some species are worse than others. Oryx species and spiral horns for example are particularly prone to deformities with even one generation of line breeding.

If you intend to turn them loose and let nature take it's course, would recommend starting with a well balanced age/sex mix from a couple of different sources. Get a couple of 1.2 to 1.4 groups of different ages to give a good genetic variety and be careful that the males are far enough apart in age to minimize your losses to fighting (I.e. One male in his prime, a couple sub adult or yearling).

If you want to start small, or price dictates that you'd start young, plan on adding some new blood within a couple years and being a bit more attentive the herd. Don't overlook adding new females as they are half the equation - add to both sexes but be careful with the males until you have enough females to keep multiple breeding age males happy - until then, swap out breeder males as appropriate.

In either case you are doing the same thing - for a herd to be truly viable, you can't rely long term on line breeding - you need to get the herd to the point that in 3-4 generations you only as close as cousins.

I actually recommend starting with a small group and trying a couple species for someone just starting out - some species do better than others depending on where you are, and it may take a little trial and error (mostly error) to figure out which ones best fit your preferences and situation, some are higher maintenance (I.e. Prone to losses) than others.

In either case, it pays to know exactly what you are getting and get the best animals you can afford. You can do that either from buying at maturity, or visiting the breeder and laying eyes on their animals. I have yet to see a broker or auctioneer say they are selling average, mediocre, or cull genetics. It takes much more time and effort to built top quality than start with it. Sometimes you get lucky, but my experience has been 50/50 or less, and personally every time I have taken a risk and been less than impressed with what I got, I got rid of the animals rather than try to build from what I had - loss of time and $ ultimately.

#5522824 - 01/06/15 02:33 AM Re: Question about Exotic Stocking/In-breeding [Re: miked1]
Txnrog Offline

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 718
Oh, yea, also yet to see someone sell a 'related pair' or trio - if they are the same age and come from the same source, it's reasonably safe to assume they are somewhat if not closely related unless you can confirm otherwise.

#5523076 - 01/06/15 08:13 AM Re: Question about Exotic Stocking/In-breeding [Re: miked1]
EddieWalker Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/06/14
Posts: 1132
Loc: Tyler, TX
Can you name a few species that do better then others? and also the ones that tend to have the most problems?


#5523528 - 01/06/15 11:44 AM Re: Question about Exotic Stocking/In-breeding [Re: miked1]
don k Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/27/08
Posts: 9091
Loc: Bandera, Tx
What I do is change out Males every 2 years. My Ibex don't seem to breed very often as kids. If I do use the male more than that I only use him on females not related to him. I have been buying a new breeder every 2 years so that the younger females will not get bred by the father.

#5523719 - 01/06/15 01:40 PM Re: Question about Exotic Stocking/In-breeding [Re: miked1]
Txnrog Offline

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 718
We do something similar Don. Natural process, generally the dominant male is only dominant for 2 years or so - funny how nature works out to naturally avoid some of the closer inbreeding,

With our TCUs, we are splitting the herd so we have multiple pairings to work with - can stretch you out 4 breeding cycles by swapping the males between the groups, after the fourth cycle will be looking for a new male. Do that a couple times, and we figure we'll have enough diversity to let them mix and let nature take it's have to factor it in as a maintenance cost of the herd when you start out.

Eddie - as mentioned, gemsbok, beisa, fringe eared, Arabian and Scimitar oryxes, and addax are particularly bad - at least the signs are obvious - horn deformities are pretty common if the herd bull is on long enough to breed his offspring. nyala, Bongo, kudu, sitatunga will show it pretty quickly too - part of the reason it's hard to find perfectly formed horns on several of those species. Sable and roan will too.

Sheep can start to show it - you'll start to see lopsided horns with uneven curl patterns between the two horns.

Cervids will show it too, but sometimes what's produced may be considered desirable traits, but generally you will see some more culls come out.

Those are ones I can think of that have obvious outward signs. Inward and general health can be more difficult to pick up, but may be shown by lower than average fertility rates or survival of the young.

General, responsible breeding practices are to avoid line breeding - it's just not good for the overall health of the population in the long run.


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