Line Breeding from the eyes of 10 year old Becca
Faith Valley Waterfowl
Where would we be without line breeding? Would we have the great calls that we
do today?  Is it possible to breed the perfect call duck that the Standard dictates
without using the art of line breeding?  I don’t think so.  I believe that without line
breeding we wouldn’t have the near perfect calls that we see today.  I feel that
line breeding is the only way to make “THE” call duck.  Through line breeding
one can lock in specific, desirable traits which then can be built on in future
generations.  We have all of the wonderful varieties of call ducks today because
many devote breeders committed years to disciplined line breeding programs.

“Line breeding is a system of pedigreed mating in an effort to fix superior traits
from one parent to the resulting offspring,” quotes Steve Jones of Poetry, Texas.
The idea is to match the strength of the male to the weakness of the female or
vise versa.  For example, if  one had a male call with his strengths being
excellent color and proportion, but his weaknesses being that his body is too
large and his bill is too long, one would pair him with females that are excellent in
type and size in addition to small bills. One wouldn’t worry about the color of the
females because that was the male’s strength.

For example, if one wanted to create a line of pied calls, but only had an
individual pied male call duck, one could pair him with excellent typed gray
female calls. It would take about 3 years to lock in the pied color and probably
another 3 years to lock in the type. This is a tough program that takes a lot of
time and effort, but it is well worth it.

In order to work on a line breeding program one should understand how the
Punnett Diagram works.  Start by drawing a square like the one below.  Then  put
the symbol that is to be used for the male in the boxes on the right side of the
square and the symbols for the female in the boxes on the top.

For example: let’s use GG for the male’s genetic symbol and RR for the female
genetic symbol. Put them in the boxes like so.
 
R
R
G
 
 
G
 
 
Next take the male gene and mix it with the female gene to come out with the
offspring gene GR.  Then continue to fill in the other boxes by using the same
method.
 
R
R
G
RG
RG
G
RG
RG
Now that it is understood how the Punnett Diagram works, continue on to the
5 generation line breeding example using a pied call male and gray call
females.

Start with original pied male and pure gray females.  The pied genetic symbol
is PP and the gray genetic symbol is M+ M+. Their offspring will all be P/M+.  
This will be the F1 generation.
F1
Gen
.
P
P
M+
PM+
PM+
M+
PM+
PM+
F2 generation comes from using two of the F1, P/M+ offspring which are bred
together. The F2 generation offspring should be P/P, P/M+, P/M+, M+/M+,  
meaning, there will be one pure pied, one pure gray, and 2 mutts.

All F2, M+/M+ offspring are sold as pure gray calls.

All F2, P/P offspring are true pied color and will be kept.

All F2, P/M+ offspring go to Farmer's Market to be sold as pet quality.
F2
Gen
.
P
M+
P
PP
PM+
M+
PM+
M+M+
F3 generation comes from using the F2, P/P female with the original Pied
Male. All F3 offspring should be 100% pied colored and that trait should be
locked in.
F3
Gen
.
P
P
P
PP
PP
P
PP
PP
F4 generation comes from using the F3, P/P male with the F2, P/P female.  
The second pen would be the original pied male with all F3, females.  All
offspring will be true pieds, and now there should be enough to have a good
genetic base to choose from in setting up breeding pens.

F5 generation is set up for working on type, since the color should be already
locked in. Now  start over with F1, using the pieds that have been  produced
in F4, the original male, the F2 female, and the F3 male.  At this point one
would probably be working on body size, trying to get them to look round and
compact, and trying to get nice bill length.

“Culling for the particular desired or undesired traits is a natural part of the
process that you have to pay particular attention to. In some cases you might
have several 'families' going at once and again record keeping is extremely
important,” stated Steve Jones from Poetry, Texas.  One method of charting
can be seen below.
Pied Line Breeding Program
Yearly Matings
Male Band #
Female Band #
Toe Punch
2005
F1 PEN (100% off colored grey/ blue fawn colored offspring)
2003 Pied male
#386
#384 & #389
R outer web
2004 Gray female
#346 & #0
 
2006
F2 PEN ( 25 % pied, 50% blue fawn, 25% grey colored offspring)
F1 Male  #386
4  male pied
colored
ducklings
0 female
offspring hatched
R inner web
F1 Females #384 &
#389
 
F1 PEN (100% off colored grey/ blue fawn colored offspring)
2003 Pied male
0 male offspring
hatched
1  blue fawn
female colored
duckling
R outer web
2004 Gray female
#390
 
2007
F3 PEN (100% pure grey pied colored offspring)
2006 new grey
Pied Males
    none
2006 new grey
Pied Females
 
F2 PEN (25% pied, 50% blue fawn, 25% grey colored offspring)
F1 Male # 386
    R inner web
F1 Females # 384
& # 389
 
F1 pen (100% off colored grey/blue fawn colored offspring)
2006 F2 Pied males
    R outer web
grey call females
 
2008
F2 pen (25% pied, 50% blue fawn, 25% grey colored offspring)
2005 F1 Male #386
    R inner web
2005 F1 females  
#384 & #389
 
PURE PEN #1 (100% pied colored offspring)
PURE males
    none
PURE females
 
PURE PEN #2 (might be 2 pens- 100% pied colored offspring)
2006 F2 Male
    none
2007 F3 females
       
Pure Pen #3 (might be multiple pens- 100 % pied colored offspring)
2007 F2 Females
    none
2007 F3 males