Methods of Farm Animal Improvement

Welcome to today’s class!!

We are thrilled to have you in our class!!

In today’s Animal Husbandry’s class, we will be learning about Methods of Farm Animal Improvement

Methods of Farm Animal Improvement

In our previous class, we talked about owning animals and caring for them, whether or not they are reared as food or pets. 

methods of  farm animal improvement

We explained that animal improvement talks about the ways of developing and breeding only those animals that show the greatest positivity under consideration such as good feed conversion, growth rate, disease resistance and egg size. It also involves the upgrading of existing (local) breeds as a result of some desirable characteristics which they
possess.

Now, let’s look at the methods of animal improvement. These are introduction, selection and breeding.

Introduction

Introduction is the process of bringing in high quality breeds of livestock with a high productive capacity and other desirable characteristics from another farm or country. Before the introduction of such animals from another country (exotic breeds), one must be sure that such breeds possess higher quality characteristics than the local breeds. Different breeds of farm animals exist and these include the local breeds, imported breeds and the cross breed.

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.

Selection

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. It helps to select animals that are capable of transmitting their genetic attributes to their offspring. Animals with desirable characteristics like good meat production, egg laying, etc are selected. 

Selection is grouped into two main classes.

  1. . Natural selection: This is the ability of individual animals to weather through unfavorable environ-mental forces to survive and reproduce. Those that are unable to survive die off.
  2. Artificial selection: This selection is done by 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: Animals are selected or rejected on the basis of their own performance (merit). Animals with the desired characteristics are chosen in preference to those not possessing them from a large group of animals.
  2. Progeny selection: Animals are selected on the performance of their
    progeny or offspring. Mothers of the
    best performed offspring are retained
    while the mothers of offspring that do
    not performing well are discarded.

Breeding

Breeding involves the development of animals by transferring inherited qualities from parents to offspring. This is achieved through mating.

breeding

Types of Breeding

  1. In-breeding: This involves the mating of more closely related animals than the average of the population from which they come, for example,  the mating of father to daughter, son to mother or brother to sister.

Importance of In-breeding

  • It produces offspring with undesirable characteristics because of recessive genes showing up.
  • It also enables the farmer to get desired character or quality well developed in an animal.
  • In-breeding helps to produce inbred lines that can be used for cross breeding to produce hybrid vigor.
  • It also leads to in-breeding depression.

Line-breeding: 

This is closely related or similar to in-breeding.

It involves the mating of not too closely related animals, for example, mating between cousins.

Importance of Line-breeding

It has the same disadvantages as in-breeding, but it takes a longer period for undesirable traits of the parents to appear (i.e in-breeding depression).


In summary, animal improvement focuses on ways of developing and breeding only those animals that show the greatest positivity under consideration such as good feed conversion, growth rate, disease resistance and egg size. It also involves the upgrading of existing (local) breeds as a result of some desirable characteristics which they
possess. The methods of improving these animals consist of: Introduction, Selection and Breeding. 

 

Evaluation

What is animal improvement?

 

Reading Assignment

List the methods used for animal improvement. 

 

Weekend Assignment

Explain each of the methods used for animal improvement. 

 

We hope you enjoyed today’s class. In our next class, we will be learning about Artificial Insemination.

Let us know your thoughts and questions in the comment section, and we will attend to them as fast as we can.

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