Genetic hackle can be several things for a chicken grower. Generally genetic hackle is related to the fly tying business. It has been this way for many years that the common chicken’s feathers was manipulated by genetics to meet the needs of fly tiers.
Most recently genetic hackle growers have been over whelmed by the fashion industry. In particular Steve Tyler of Aerosmith in a talent show wearing a genetic hackle in his hair. Almost overnight the genetic hackle industry was transformed. Much of this a hassle for fly tiers who were the core users of genetic hackle by raising prices and limiting supplies.
Either way the primary draw to genetic hackle is the extreme lengths attained by selecting for very long saddle hackles. This genetic selection goal is only one of the needs of a fly tier.
In my honest opinion genetic hackle is all about selection of your breeding stock to change the feather traits of your chickens. Not all genetic hackle breeders have the same goals.
Most genetic hackle breeders focus on what we call dry fly hackle. These breeders focus on very small and long feathers to float fly fishing flies on the surface of water. It all started because chicken feathers do not naturally grow this way without selection pressure to guide the chickens feather traits in this direction.
Today genetic hackle could mean several things.
Some will follow the traditional route of selecting for dry fly qualities. Some will breed for the ornamental value of having some roosters running around with long saddle feathers for eye candy.
Chicken traits with time and planning can be manipulated very easy.
Lets see what we all can do to meet the needs of who wants to breed genetic hackle.
Tallow Hill Farms