Animal Improvement


Welcome to class! 

In today’s class, we will be talking about animal improvement. Enjoy the class!

Animal Improvement

Animal Improvement


  • Meaning of animal improvement
  • Aims of Animal improvement
  • Process/method of animal improvement

Meaning of animal improvement

Animal improvement refers to the ways of developing and breeding only those animals that show the greatest merit under consideration such as good feed conversion, growth rate, disease resistance, egg size, etc. It also involves the upgrading of existing (local) breeds as a result of some undesirable characteristics which they possess.

Aims of animal improvement
  1. To produce animals that can give high yield or products in form of meat, egg, milk etc.
  2. To produce animals that can provide a high quality of products such as yolk size, shell hardness etc.
  3. To produce animals with high feed conversion efficiency.
  4. To produce animals with a high growth rate.
  5. To produce animals with early maturity.
  6. To produce animals which can adapt to climatic/environmental conditions.
  7. To produce animals that are resistant to parasites and diseases.


  1. What is animal improvement?
  2. State five aims of animal improvement.
Process/methods of animal improvement

There are three methods or processes of animal improvement. These are;

  1. Introduction
  2. Selection
  3. Breeding

Introduction is the bringing into the farm or a country, high-quality breeds of livestock with high production capacity and other good desirable characteristics from another farm or country. Before the introduction of such animal from another country (exotic breeds), one must be sure breeds possess higher quality characteristics than the local breeds

Advantages of introduction

  1. Breeds which are not originally present in the home country are introduced
  2. It enhances greater productivity
  3. It leads to the absence of pests and diseases
  4. Breeds may perform better in terms of quality and quantity if it is able to adapt to the local environment.

Disadvantages of introduction

  1. It may introduce new disease(s) to the new area.
  2. It may introduce new pet(s) to the area.
  3. It may have the problem of adaptation to the new area.
  4. It may not perform maximally


  1. Define introduction as a method of animal improvement.
  2. State three advantages and three disadvantages of introduction.

Reading assignment

Essential agricultural science by O. A. Iwena Pages 378 – 381.


Selection is the process of picking or selecting from a mixed population, those animals with breeding value as parents. Selection is undertaken to maximize genetic gain.

Selection is grouped into two main classes

  1. Natural selection: This is the ability of an individual animal to survive unfavourable environmental weather conditions and reproduce. Those that are unable to survive die off.
  2. Artificial selection: This selection is done by a man using his intelligence and influence to select and mate animals in order to increase the number of animals.

There are four types of artificial selection:

  1. Mass selection
  2. Progeny selection
  3. Family selection
  4. Pedigree selection

Advantages of selection

  1. It ensures that only the best naturally available animal is selected
  2. Animals with desirable characteristics are selected.
  3. Animals from the best breeds are bred for distribution.
  4. Animals with undesirable characteristics are dejected and rejected.
  5. Selection reduces the spread of diseases.
  6. It also reduces the spread of parasites associated with breeding stocks.

Disadvantages of selection

  1. Selection is tedious and time-consuming.
  2. It is very costly in terms of time and money.
  3. It requires expertise which may not be readily available.
  4. It brings about elimination or exclusion of some desirable trait of some parents stocks.
  5. No new desirable characteristics are introduced.
  1. Define selection as a method of animal improvement.
  2. State three advantages and three disadvantages of selection.
  3. Briefly explain the types of selection.


In our next class, we will be talking more about Animal Improvement.  We hope you enjoyed the class.

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