This article is about how temperament is an inheritable characteristic, and is being republished from Acorn Hollow Bantams website with permission from Lou Horton.
I believe that temperament is an inheritable characteristic. Temperament is not something which is obvious when one first looks at a bird, but it is a valuable characteristic when the temperament is good. It can increase the enjoyment level when one works with the birds and it can make the difference between winning and losing in the showroom. Furthermore, I believe that temperament can be passed from generation to generation, whether it be good or bad temperament. Good temperament means a bird which is not overly aggressive or wild. It can be handled easily and is not hostile toward it’s flock mates. In bantam ducks in particular, I would include a lack of shyness which is often a problem in a show situation. A Call duck or East Indie which cowers in the back of it’s cage or which tries to fly up through the top will not make a favorable impression on the judge. Likewise, a bird which attacks the judge is likely to get an unfavorable evaluation from that judge.
I have seen ample proof in the decades I have raised poultry of all kinds that temperament (good or bad) is quite dependably passed from one generation to the next. I would strongly recommend paying attention to it when selections are made in breeding stock. That does not mean that one is always in a position to pass on an otherwise outstanding bird because it possesses bad temperament but one should limit as much as possible the use of birds which are bad tempered. I have seen strains developed without regard to temperament end up plagued with temperament problems indefinitely.
By Lou Horton