in Education / Science    (submitted 2012-04-03)


What is BREEDING :- the producing of plants and animals, esp. for the purpose of developing new or better types is known as breeding.

Importance of breeding:- There is a vast scope of breeding mostly in the economic considerations, and better welfare of the human beings . Breeding can be done in both plants and animals as in case of animals it is called as animal breeding and it can be livestock breeding ,poultry breeding etc.

ANIMAL BREEDING:- The science of ANIMAL breeding is defined as the application of the principles of GENETICS and biometry to improve the efficiency of production in farm animals. These principles were applied to change animal populations thousands of years before the sciences of genetics and biometry were formally established. The practice of animal breeding dates back to the Neolithic period (approximately 7000 BC), when people attempted to domesticate wild species such as caribou, goats, hogs and DOGS. Animal breeding, as an applied field of population genetics, has a well-developed mathematical foundation that was laid early in its development. Facets of major emphasis in current animal breeding include the utilization of new estimation procedures for random effects, the incorporation of economics in the development of breeding programmes designed for the livestock industry, the verification of theory and testing of breeding schemes using laboratory organisms, the evaluation of new germ plasm available in livestock populations, and the application of breeding principles to the livestock industry. There are real opportunities in animal breeding to serve the current livestock industry. Lush developed a graduate programme starting in the 1930s that produced students trained to apply the principles of population genetics to the improvement of domestic livestock. Animal breeding as a modern SCIENCE belongs to the 20th century. Although numerous geneticists and biometricians have made significant contributions to the development of this science. Lush of Iowa State University is considered as the father of the modern science of animal breeding. There are various methods of breeding adopted in case of animal's i.e. Line breeding, inbreeding, out crossing, etc.

IMPORTANCE OR SCOPE OF ANIMAL BREEDING: - It is adopted for various purposes e.g. economic considerations etc. Primary Function = production of high quality protein.Essential for proper growth and development of MAN.

Preferred = meat, eggs, milk.So there are many reasons why animal breeding is of paramount importance to those who use animals for their livelihood.

1. Cats have been bred largely for aesthetic beauty; many people are willing to pay a great deal of money for a Siamese or Persian cat, even though the affection felt for a pet has little to do with physical appearance. But the most extensive animal breeding has occurred in those areas where animals have been used to serve specific practical purposes.

2. For instance, most dog breeds are the result of a deliberate attempt to isolate traits that would produce better hunting and herding dogs (although some, like toy poodles, were bred for traits that would make them desirable pets).

3. Horses have also been extensively bred for certain useful qualities; some for size and strength, some for speed.

4. But farm animals, particularly food animals, have been the subject of the most intensive breeding efforts. The physical qualities of economic importance in farm animals vary for each species, but a generalized goal is to eliminate the effects of environment and nutrition. An ideal strain of milk cow, for instance, would produce a large amount of high-quality milk despite the type of food it is fed and the environment in which it is reared. Thus, animals are generally all bred for feed efficiency, growth rate, and resistance to disease.

5. However, a pig might be bred for lean content in its meat, while a hen would be bred for its laying potential. Many cows have been bred to be hornless, so they cannot inadvertently or deliberately gore each other.

HISTORICAL :- Pure breeding is an ancient idea for a number of reasons particularly the caste system of society. Emphasis on ancestry in human genealogies is older than history. Man's attempts to breed livestock to serve his purpose go far back into man's own history. More than a thousand years ago, the arabs in their horse breeding were memorizing the genealogies of their horses but the way they used these geneaologies to breed their horses is not known. After the Second World War, several regional projects, patterned after the successful regional swine-breeding laboratory, were started with adequate funding from state experiment stations and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to initiate some large-scale animal breeding research projects. Today the fruits of these long-term investigations are seen in the dairy, poultry, swine, sheep and beef industries. The extent of breeding technology utilized by the various industries is related to their reproductive potential or to a reproductive innovation such as artificial insemination.

- The development of the selection index by Hazel and Lush (1942) opened new vistas of theoretical development. Recently, Henderson (1972, 1975) has consolidated work that extends statistical theory to the estimation of random variables and the estimation of maximum likelihood estimates of fixed effects. It utilizes selection index concepts along with those of least squares. This new theory is currently being used in dairy and beef sire evaluation. This area of statistical estimation is being actively pursued, as evidenced by the work of Freeman (1973) and Powell et al. (1975). The development by Harvey (1960) of least-squares analysis of data with unequal subclass numbers and his subsequent writing of analysis programmes have been utilized by breeders and are responsible for considerable statistical sophistication in the breeding literature .

- Robert Bakewell, an English animal breeder of the 18th century, is considered the founder of systematized animal breeding. He was the first to emphasize the importance of accurate breeding records, introduced the concept of progeny testing to evaluate the genetic potentials of young sires, and applied inbreeding to stabilize desired qualitative traits. He also promoted concepts such as "like begets like,""prepotency is associated with inbreeding" and "breed the best to the best." Bakewell and his contemporaries in Europe pioneered the development of diverse breeds of BEEF cattle, DAIRY cattle, SHEEP, hogs and HORSES. Most livestock breeds with pedigree herd books and breed associations were established between the late 18th century and the second half of the 19th century. The Romans of the time of varro and Catto (2000 years ago) made many comments about kinds and types of animals to be selected for breeding purposes, although they made no attempt to record long pedigrees for their livestock.The Roman , Varro advocated the idea of progeny testing 2000 years ago.

- Studies on crossbreeding were first performed at the University of Saskatchewan in 1930, under the direction of J.W. Grant MACEWAN and L.M.Winters.


ï§ â€œFather of Livestock Selection”.

ï§ Introduced the systematic, methodical selection of breeding stock.

ï§ Developed a population of superior breeding animals through selection for specific traits.

ï§ Closed the herd and utilized inbreeding and linebreeding to produce a herd possessing UNIFORM superiority.

ï§ The pedigree breeding was established in his time and he made it popular.

ï§ He was born in England in 1725 and died in 1795.

ï§ The use of pedigree was started in rural England late in the eighteenth century.

ï§ He was an experimenter.

ï§ He made efforts to produce farm animals (cattle, sheep,and horses) with increased efficiency.

ï§ He developed theories ,tested them with experiments and laid down the following principles.

ï§ Inbreeding produces prepotency and refinement, and development of relatively true breeding strain.

ï§ He initiated sire testing .

ï§ He used the progeny testing of Roman, Varro.

ï§ Robert Bakewell laid the foundation for the Shire horse, Longhorn cattle, and Leicester sheep.

ï§ His success attracted many imitators (who follow examples) and many ambitious stockmen from many parts of England went to work with him so as to know his methods.

ï§ The greatest contribution of Bake well to breeding methods was that he appreciated the inbreeding as the most effective tool to produce refinement and fixing type

 Collings , who was one of those who visited and learned from R. Bakewell , the foundation of the Short horn breed in 1775.

European Expansion

 In the early 1800's, movement of livestock over long distances was very difficult

o During the 2ndhalf of the 1800's, European colonization of the world is at its greatest Importation of European breeds to colonies

o Breeding-up of “inferior” native livestock

o RESULTS: Diversification of the gene pool

 Experiment Stations

o 1925: Establishment of US Experiment Stations to compare the performance of different breeds in different regions Establishment of management principles

o Performance testing

o Selection based on genetic superiority rather than management.

 Modern Industry

o Since 1925, improvement in production include:Milk Prod. Up 300%; cow #'s down 50%

o Hog finish time down 50%; feed/# gain down 33%

o Egg production/hen up 90%

o Beef cattle weaning weights up 35%, feed/# gain down 35%

o Beef cattle yearling weight up 25%, feed/# gain down 50%

 Thomas Bates (1975-1849) studied the methods of Collings. He started to keep records of feed consumption in relation to both beef and milk production. He selected with great care and inbred very closely, and developed one of the great herds of cattle.

 In the seventeeth century ,the Arab horses came to Britain. About this time , the imported horses were crossed with those locally available and a belief in purity of pedigree was adapted.

 Buffon (1708-88) a French naturalist advocated systematic cross breeding.

 When the people of other lands came to know about the improvement in breeding stock of Bakewell and his followers, the export of breeding stock to those lands was started and this become a considerable source of income to the British stockmen.This encouraged them for further improvement to attract foreign customers for breeding stock.


With time there was an increase in the number of animal breeders and the number of generations in the pedigrees. No one could remember all of the animals far back in the pedigree and also no one can believe in the statement or records of others. Therefore , the herd books were formed in order to supply correct information.

 The first herd book was “ An introduction to the general stud Book” for the thorough bred horse and it was started in 1791.this contained the records of the pedigrees of thr horses winning important races.

 The next herd Book “ Short horn herd Book” published by Coates in 1822.

 The first swine herd Book in the world was that of the American Berkshire association which appeared in 1876.

 Stud herd Books for horses were founded in France in 1826,in Germany in 1827 and in Australia in 1847.

 The first cattle herd book in France was established in 1855, the first German one in1864,the first Dutch one in 1874 and the first Danish one in 1881.

 After the turn of the eighteenth century , there was a resurgence of the theory of pure breeding ( pedigree breeding).

 Then for the half century the trend changed to follow pure breeding for improving a breed from within itself.

 Krunitz (1845) wrote that the English improve a race from within the same race and mating them together, and to keep the stock unmixed to produce a race of desired qualities. This lead to the theory of “ Racial constancy” which held that each animal transmitted according to its race rather than to its other characteristics .

 During the nineteenth century a” doctorine of the indigenous breed” was popular in Norway, which held that locally adapted types of the animal were the best to use.

 In 1859,Darwin published “ The origin of species ” and in 1865 Mendel published the results of his studies on the inheritance of garden pea which had no immediate impact on animal breeding .

 The first cow testing association in the world was established in 1892 in Denmark

 Allen, R.L (1847) stated in his book “ domestic animals” that every country and almost every district has its peculiar breeds of cattle.”

 Galton (1822,1911) introduced the quantitative approach to variation among relatives and it could have been made valuable but it was ignored and had to wait for Fisher, Wright , Haldane, and Lush in the period 1918 to 1939.


 Sukhatme (1944) statistically analysed the breeding data of goat breeding scheme of ICAR being in operation at Etah (u.p).The ICAR then initiated to scrutinize all the research schemes, programmes and reports from statistical point of view. This followed several investigations.

 The statistical techniques were improved. The application of discriminant function for selection of genetically superior animals was demonstrated by Panse (1946).

 The new sire indices were also developed by Krishnan (1956) which was the corrected daughter average index, by Sundersan and collegues (1965) known as dairy research index accounting the period variations.

 Kampthorne and Tandon (1953) developed the method of estimating heritibility from data with different number of daughters per dam .

 Tomar et al. (1991) and Tomar (1998) worked out the method of estimating heritibility of threshhold data without transformation.

 Tomar and Verma (1981) gave the formula to estimate the standard error of heritibility of threshold characters.

 Prediction equations were given by Sundeson et al. (1954/1960) to predict life time milk production and to predit lactation yield from practical yield, by Tomar et al. (1971) to predict the body weight of cows from body measurements.

 Tomar and his collegues in a series of studies (1985-2001) opened a new area of research and gave the formula to work out the replacement rate, replacement replacement index, and the selective value of the cows, buffaloes and goats.

 Basic research on quantitative genetics were also carried out by Mathur (1953) and Puri (1954) to estimate the effective number of factors responsible for inheritance of quantitative characters.

 Gopalan (1962) studied the effect of linkage on quantitative characters.

 Narain and his collegues studied the gene action and interaction with multiple alleles (1963) , variation in presence of epistasis and G-E interaction (1965) and the genetic and assortive mating(1967).

 Amble and Jacob (1974) reviewed the work on development of statistics in animal science research in india.


Sukhatme :Eminent statistician Buffon (French) Thomas Bates Charles Colling


Great Depression

o Nation-wide demand for increased production of protein

o FOOD becomes a national priority

o Agronomist demonstrate that crossing “types” results in improved performance = HYBRID VIGOR

o Government advocates crossbreeding programs

o Purebred breeders try to pass laws against crossbreeding


 Future improvements in livestock production will come primarily through genetics

 Improved access to superior genetic material AI, ET, semen/embryo transport, multiple ET

 Increased access to exact genetic materials Cloning, nuclear transfer, nuclear fusion

 GENE MANIPULATION Correction and/or alteration of gene sequences