Is anyone else intersted in crossbreeding? : LUSENET : ACountryPlace : One Thread

I am wondering if anyone besides me is interested in crossbreeding for health and stamina, and keeping the genetic pool diverse?

Little Bit Farm

-- Little bit farm (, September 14, 2001


Here are some good links to read about livestack conservation. This is extremely important. In addition to conserving those already in existence I feel very strongly that we need to cross breed our animals for vigor. the first link is particularly good and they have a photo gallery of some disappearing breeds.

Little bit farm

-- Little bit farm (, September 14, 2001.

Little Bit "What would your Husband Say"? :o)~

-- Kenneth in N.C. (, September 15, 2001.

Kenneth, You crack me Up!!! Thank you for the Laugh!

Little bit farm

-- Little bit farm (, September 15, 2001.

I guess I should probably add, that I meant the crossbreeding of livestock, although after going back and reading my post it would be anybody's guess.

Little bit farm signing off with pink cheeks

-- Little bit farm (, September 15, 2001.


-- paul (, September 16, 2001.

Little Bit, I didn't read the articles posted ( have to make dinner very soon), but I do have some opinions on crossbreeding.
There is some truth in the idea that inbred stock can be weaker , less productive,and more prone to problems. However, that's not always the case. I have a friend, and she breeds Alpine dairy goats. She inbreeds her goats more tightly than anyone else I have ever known. They are BIG, strong animals. Productive? Yes!!! She might have a record for the most Alpine breed leaders bred on one place! They are definitely NOT small, weak, sickly animals. That said, I really feel that inbreeding must be done only with extensive knowledge of the bloodlines involved and just as extensive culling of any undesireables.

Now, about crossbreeding. I actually think that you are much more likely to end up with undesireabe animals through cross breeding. And any semblance of consistent results will fly right out the window! If you have a definite goal in mind, it will be a lot harder to get with crossbreeding, that is if you crossbreed every generation. Crossing out once and then tying back into the original lne would be better. Yes constant crossbreeding will give you diversity, but too much diversity is a bad thing in a breeding program.

Say you have two herds. Herd A is very inbred. They are all about the same color, size, and type. They all have nice udders, strong legs, and plenty of body capacity. They also all have steeply sloping rumps, a bad fault in dairy goats, and a tendency for the upper lip to be longer than it should be.

Herd B has never used the same buck twice. They use vastly unrelated bucks for each doe. As a result, every goat is different. There are tall goats, short ones, wide, narrow, good legs, hocky legs, posty legs, great feet, bad feet, and all sorts of udders, most of them not the ideal.

Herd A needs to fix two traits: rumps and overbites. They can probably do that in one or two generations using the right buck to outcross, and if they cull the animals that are worst for those two traits they will be well on the way to their goal.

It's a different story for Herd B. Where do they start? What buck can they possibly use that would be right for all the does the have? they are going to have to sit down and make some hard decisions and cull really hard, and then use some top bucks for many years before they reach the level of progress Herd A will attain in a few years. Ironically, the best buck for Herd B would be a tightly linebred animal that will sire very consistent kids. Purebred, linebred or inbred stock is essential if you want to get acceptable results from crossbreeding.

Take a look at my friend's site and see if her very inbred stock looks weak or sickly to you.

-- Rebekah (, September 17, 2001.

I have to agree with Rebekah. We have a herd of horses that have been inbred/linebred for 40 years. (We do use new stallions at times, but the basic herd remains the same.) Due to picking good animals to begin with and doing heavy culling from the beginning, we have a very healthy, robust, trouble free herd. With our particular breed, we want them on the small side, but they have continued to increase in size somewhat over the years. We have high conception rates, almost no losses, and we have never yet assisted with a foaling. We don't want a horse we have to pamper. I know goat breeders who can say the same for their herds. (I'm not there yet with my goats, but working on it.) Purebreds can have their problems, but it doesn't have to be that way. I think a lot of the problem with purebreds is that people so often think as long as an animal has papers, it's "breeding stock", rather than looking at the qualities of each individual. A lot of papered animals should not be bred!

To put things very simply, when you breed one purebred to another of a different breed, yes, the resulting offspring will likely have good hybrid vigor. When I was raising rabbits commercially, I much preferred crossbreeding as I got good healthy stock that gained quickly and went to market sooner. BUT, if you keep some of those crossbreds and breed them, especially to another crossbred, you can get anything and everything under the sun! You might get some good ones, but you will also likely get a high percentage of culls. You could, I suppose, take the biggest and best of the crossbreds and breed them, culling out all the undesirables until you get a quality animal that will breed true. But then, you essentially have a "purebred" again. On our place, depending on what an animal is used for (meat, breeding stock, pleasure/pet) an animal is crossbred only if it is intended for meat or pleasure/pet use, never for breeding. Last fall we had a stallion get out and breed some mares of a different breed. The resulting 5 foals (told you we had a great conception rate, LOL) will be sold ASAP without papers, for riding animals only.

IMHO, purebreds and crossbreds both have their place, it just depends on what you intend to do with them.

-- Lenette (, September 18, 2001.

All right, I'll play devil's advocate. I'm not interested in showing goats, so my breeding purposes are strictly for replacement stock, for meat or for sale. I find that how I breed my goats depends on what the purpose of their offspring will be. If I'm just breeding for milk production of the doe and will sell the kids, I usually breed to a miniature breed (pygmy or nigerian dwarf) since, in my area, small pet goats are the easiest to sell. If I'm breeding for meat, I'll try to find a boer or part boer buck, or a very large buck, to get a larger kid (making sure not to outsize the doe). If I'm breeding for replacment stock, I look for a buck that will correct the worst traits of the doe, while still passing on good milk production. I am more likely to breed within a breed to get replacment stock, but not always. I hate white feet and have always had problems with them, so I'm breeding my saanen to a nubian with black feet for replacment stock. I'm also hoping to downsize the goat a little (my saanen doe is enormous and eats like a horse, all be it a miniature one!), and to reduce milk production, since she produces way more than I need. (Yes, I am probably the only person in caprine history to complain about overproduction!)

-- (, September 19, 2001.

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