Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Principles of Livestock Improvement

 The methods developed and emphasized by these pioneer breeders are essentially the same as those followed today; careful selection of breeding animals, liberal feeding, and general good management. Bakewell was the first to understand and practice in-breeding and line-breeding as a means of fixing desirable characteristics. A certain amount of crossing was also done in the early history of some breeds — with the Ayrshire and the Shorthorn, for example.
 At the present time the efforts of cattle breeders are directed toward further improvements in the breeds already in existence and not towards the establishment of new breeds. The reason for this is the realization that breeds are now in existence that are adapted to practically any conditions under which cattle may be profitably kept. Furthermore, to develop a new breed with as well-established characteristics as those already in use would require more than the lifetime of a man, and would not be financially remunerative. There is every indication that we probably will have fewer breeds in the future.


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