Our Faculty has been dealing with the cross-breeding of Hungarian speckled hen to maintain the breed since 1977. We keep two breeds of the Hungarian speckled hen, the bare-neck variant and the feathered-neck type on the pilot farm. Because of the spread of intensive poultry keeping the population of these breeds has become endangered. Beside th...e gene preservation, we endeavour to find the best way for the production-purpose
utilisation of the speckled hen stock. We examined the egg production of these breeds.
Since the 1992 Rio de Janeiro UNO Congress domestic animals belong also officially to the genetic diversity of the world. Non commercial domestic animal breeds should be maintained for many cultural and technical reasons. Conservation and preservation of living beings is nowadays in the programme of many regional, national and international org...anizations.
The preservation of domestic animals is possible in situ (at the original place and conditions) and ex situ (by cryogenic methods).
There are three era in the history of preservation of domestic animals: the epoch of spontaneous maintenance, the period of sporadic national activities and the era of international programme.
Some of the questions to be solved by scientific research: the principles of selection of the candidate populations for maintenance, the different degrees of endangeredness, the necessary population size to be subsidized, the problem of inbreeding, the best mating systems etc.
In Hungary the maintenance of endangered domestic animal breeds is based upon the low.
The following breeds are on the list of protected breeds:
− the Hungarian Grey cattle,
− the Lipizzan, Shagya, Nonius, Gidran, Furioso,Kisbér Halfbred, Murinsulaner and Hucul horses,
− the Racka, Tsigai and Cikta sheep,
− the Mangalitsa pig,
− the Hungarian yellow, white, speckled and the Transsylvanian naked necked hen,
− the Bronze Turkey,
− the Frizzle Feathered goose.
Hopefully in the near future the breeders of traditional domestic animal breeds will find the possible niches for their special products.
Our College has been dealing with the crossbreeding of two Hungarian speckled hen breeds, the bare-neck and the featheredneck, to maintain the breeds since 1977. Apart from the gene preservation, we endeavour to find the best way for the production-purpose utilisation of the speckled hen stock. On the basis of our experiments the laying hens ca...n be used in small-scale egg production. As for meat production, these pure-breds cannot compete with the various types of the colour-feathered hybrid constructions available in Hungary. On the basis of the results of the cross-breeding with cock-lines of various hybrid types for direct production purposes we can conclude that the Hungarian speckled hen is suitable as a mother line to produce meat-type chickens in alternative breeding systems.