Breeding programs help animals to breed and can be good for animals as well as the agricultural economy.
A breeding program is the planned breeding of a group of animals or plants, usually involving at least several individuals and extending over several generations. There are a couple of breeding methods, such as artificial (which is man made) and natural (it occurs on its own, which is very rare).
Breeding programs are commonly employed in several fields where humans wish to completely obliterate the characteristics of their animals' offspring through careful selection of breeding partners:
- Dog and cat fanciers may coordinate a breeding program to raise the probability of an animal's litter producing a championship-caliber animal.
- Horse breeders try to produce fast racehorses through breeding programs.
- Conservationists use breeding programs to try to help the recovery of endangered species by preserving the existing gene pool and preventing inbreeding.
- There also can be breeding programs for plants. For instance, a winery owner, seeking to find a better tasting wine, could design a breeding program so that only the vines whose grapes make the very best wine are allowed to breed.
See also