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Animal breeding

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Animal breeding is a branch of animal science that addresses the evaluation (using best linear unbiased prediction and other methods) of the genetic value (estimated breeding value, EBV) of livestock. Selecting for breeding animals with superior EBV in growth rate, egg, meat, milk, or wool production, or with other desirable traits has revolutionized livestock production throughout the entire world. The scientific theory of animal breeding incorporates population genetics, quantitative genetics, statistics, and recently molecular genetics and is based on the pioneering work of Sewall Wright, Jay Lush, and Charles Henderson.

Breeding stock[edit]

Breeding stock is a group of animals used for the purpose of planned breeding. When individuals are looking to breed animals, they look for certain valuable traits in purebred animals, or may intend to use some type of crossbreeding to produce a new type of stock with different, and presumably superior abilities in a given area of endeavor. For example, when breeding swine for meat, the "breeding stock should be sound, fast growing, muscular, lean, and reproductively efficient."[1] The "subjective selection of breeding stock" in horses has led to many horse breeds with particular performance traits.[2] While breeding animals is common in an agricultural setting, it is also a common practice for the purpose of selling animals meant as pets, such as cats, dogs, horses, and birds, as well as less common animals, such as reptiles or some primates.

Purebred breeding[edit]

Mating animals of the same breed for maintaining such breed is referred to as purebred breeding. Opposite to the practice of mating animals of different breeds, purebred breeding aims to establish and maintain stable traits, that animals will pass to the next generation. By "breeding the best to the best", employing a certain degree of inbreeding, considerable culling, and selection for "superior" qualities, one could develop a bloodline or "breed" superior in certain respects to the original base stock.

Such animals can be recorded with a breed registry, the organisation that maintains pedigrees and/or stud books. The observable phenomenon of hybrid vigor stands in contrast to the notion of breed purity.

For laboratory purposes, organisms such as mice have been inbred to 100% pure lines, as offered for sale by the Jackson laboratory. But this is highly unusual and difficult to do for most organisms, in whose populations all individuals harbor recessive, deleterious gene variants (alleles).

Backyard breeding[edit]

In the United States, a backyard breeder is someone who breeds animals, often without registration and with a focus on profit. In some cases, the animals are inbred narrowly for looks, with little regard to health.[3] The term is considered derogatory. If a backyard dog breeder has a significant number of breeding animals, they become associated with puppy mills. Most puppy mills are licensed with the USDA.[4]

See also[edit]

Plant and animal breeding[edit]


Other topics[edit]

Further reading[edit]

The seven biggest breeders[5][6]
  • Lush, JL (1937), Animal Breeding Plans, Ames, Iowa: Iowa State Press
  • Kempthorne, O (1957), Introduction to Statistic Genetics, John Wiley & Sons
  • Van Vleck; L. D.; Searle; S. R. (1979), Variance components and animal breeding: proceedings of a conference in honor of C.R. Henderson, Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University
  • Henderson, CR (1984), Applications of linear models in animal breeding, Guelph, Ont: University of Guelph, ISBN 0-88955-030-1
  • Hammond K. Gianola, D. (1990), Advances in Statistical Methods for Genetic Improvement of Livestock (Advanced Series in Agricultural Sciences), Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg GmbH & Co. K, ISBN 3-540-50809-0
  • Massey, JW; Vogt, DW (1993), Heritability and Its Use in Animal Breeding, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri, archived from the original on 2009-04-12, retrieved 2008-09-13
  • Mrode, R. A. (1996), Linear models for the prediction of animal breeding values, Oxon: CAB International, ISBN 0-85198-996-9
  • Cameron, N. D. (1997), Selection indices and prediction of genetic merit in animal breeding, Oxon: CAB International, ISBN 0-85199-169-6
  • Dalton, C; Willis, MB (1998), Dalton's Introduction to Practical Animal Breeding, Oxford: Blackwell Science, ISBN 0-632-04947-2
  • Bourdon, RM (2000), Understanding animal breeding, Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-096449-2
  • Newman, S; Rothschild, MF (2002), Intellectual Property Rights in Animal Breeding and Genetics, Wallingford, Oxon, UK: CABI Pub, ISBN 0-85199-641-8
  • FAO. (2007). The Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources and the Interlaken Declaration. Rome.
  • FAO. (2010). Breeding strategies for sustainable management of animal genetic resources. FAO Animal Production and Health Guidelines. No. 3. Rome.
  • FAO. (2015). The Second Report on the State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Rome.


External links[edit]

Academic centers[edit]