Male or Female line? - OEGB Int'l Society

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Male or Female line?

edited September 2014 in Somethin' to Crow About
Hi, Many are talking male or female line. I did a search but still unsure on what it means. Can they be crossed? What are the characteristics of each? Is one better to start with then other?
Thanks in advance for helping a newbie out.


  • I can tell you what I know which isn't much but mabey it will help you out. A female line will produce some quality females but all the males will be culls. A male line will produce some quality males but all females will be culls. I heard it is easier to start with a female line because they are a little bit easier. Im not sure if this is true but mabey some pros can clear it up for you.
  • So you would have to maintain both lines for breeding? But if mixed won't both be in one bird?
  • Desone,
    The double mated lines have typically been bred for several generations to accent both body and feather as well as color traits desired for the variety.
    Most lines have been selected for either males or females making sacrifices in the breeder birds of the opposite sex.
    Some lines exist that have not been selected as hard or for as long as others making single mating easier however cull rates are often higher in single mated lines.
    Female line males are often considerably smaller than a male line male as are the females.
    Mixing male line males with female line females seldom works as the generations of culling and breeding practices behind the birds just will not support getting good birds of both sexes from a single mating. This can vary some based on the variety and the selection practices behind the birds.
    In my opinion female lines are easier to work with and condition, fewer feathers to get damaged and less time to get them finished, often fewer pens are needed as well.
  • Thanks for the info. So it would be best to have both types in your program. I thought breeding best to best makes good results. can you show a cock from a female line? If so would he go against others like him.
  • If you enjoy the males start with a male line breeder trio, if you like the small tight females start with them. It is more about what a person likes than a need for anything in particular.
  • Carl is right. The female line birds are easier to work with, require less pen space, get less feather damage, and finish out more quickly than a male line. I would advise anyone just starting out to begin with a good female line.
  • Can you show a female line cock?
  • They vary a bit between lines,
    Here are two female line males, both in molt one a bit heavier than the other. The third picture is a male line male.
    The Silver blue male has more of the comb I prefer on female breeders, the Birchen's comb is larger than I really care for but will just have to be very selective with the pullets to keep a nice tight comb.
    558 x 480 - 134K
    640 x 438 - 127K
    449 x 640 - 178K
    640 x 398 - 155K
  • I raise male line BB Reds, and the females are longer back and darker . Some lines produce both but most don't.
  • Desone do you understand single mate and double mate? Sometime we speak chickenesse and its hard for someone new to understand.
  • edited September 2014
    Good point Shane, let me see if I can find the terminology thread we had and explained all of those things.
    I can't bring it up, its on page 62
  • edited September 2014
    Single mate- To have one mating that will produce both males and females of show quality.

    Double mate- To have separate matings that will produce only males or only females of show quality. Hence forth known as male line or female line matings.

    Double mating is needed when the males and females of one variety are different in color or pattern. Reason being there are color faults in one sex that contribute to the correctness of the opposite sex. As far as type differences well that is all individual opinion. I personnally don't see double mating solid colors but that is just me and I don't win much anyway so I guess I could be wrong LOL. I do believe double mating is necessary in both the duckwing and crowing varieties if you want to consistently place at the shows where competition is heavy.
  • Didn't even know we had that tread Carl. Ha Ha
  • Its way back there, We have another that is pages of good general terms and descriptions but I do not recall the title. Like many of the early threads that answer a lot of questions they are buried somewhere in the back.
  • Cjarvis Thanks for the pics. I do see a difference. Great info. I think now im understanding. Guess single mate would be ideal. Then if something starts going wrong you double mate.
    Thanks for pulling it up. I been searching thru these forums like crazy some is
    Im a reptile guy that got bit by the OEGB bug Now my kids are all excited about them also. Thanks everyone
  • I went through all 66 pages and found about 6 threads dedicated to this topic, I know there are other threads that ventured this direction but was not in the title. I do not recall which was the better one with more detail
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