How they Guide Your Breeding Program
Any breeding systems no matter what the species
comes with strong
recommendations to have a plan.
- Know what you are breeding for.
- Do you
want to breed top show cats?
- If so would you be selling those kittens
or competing yourself and at what level?
- Are you looking for a
particular color established in your breed or perhaps you want to get
closer to the standard simply for the satisfaction of doing so and
spending time with cats.
Whatever your reasons for breeding
have them clear in your mind. There are so many ways to get there and
even experienced breeders – of all species! – argue the benefits and
detriment of each. A wise horseman noted once that a particular horse
traced to a single stallion on both sides of his pedigree and said if
it was a nick that worked its line breeding and if it didn’t then it’s
inbreeding. Some rabbit breeders will breed relatives to try to fix a
certain color or to see genetically what the animal might be.
Of course we don’t ride cats nor do we eat them
when the cross doesn’t work! For this reason cat breeders give careful
consideration to the breeding systems of close breeding, line breeding,
line crossing and outcrossing.
Close breeding or inbreeding examples
This can fix certain traits genetically and
homozygous traits. However it can also bring out the weak genes and
create a lack of health and thriftiness that medicine can’t overcome.
Too much close blood can result in an increase in congenital problems,
smaller litters, smaller adults, lower fertility, immune diseases and
losing more to disease due to decreased immunity. This is true whether
it is cats, cattle, rabbits or any other animal.
- mother to son,
- full siblings,
- father to daughter or
too can bring out the same problems but allows for more genetic
differences than close breeding. Linebreeding uses animals that may be
related but are more distantly so – perhaps sharing a grandsire or
Linecrossing is using
animals that are of different bloodlines. This can maintain the vigor
needed genetically and produce top quality animals, although some argue
it takes longer to achieve than through linebreeding. It takes more
effort and a longer time to get those top quality animals than with
linebreeding or inbreeding.
Outcrossing or crossbreeding
increases hybrid vigor as you’re using two different breeds. However,
one must then create a cat that is consistent in look or it is just
producing crossbred cats. Some dog breeds have been big examples of
this when it’s a breeding just for money. Keep in mind too that with
those weak genes if those match up it still results in genetically weak
Looking closely at your goals directs your
program in a way to make decisions to reach those goals! Select well,
choose carefully and have a plan in your breeding systems!
more: Record Keeping Is Important
Record keeping can take on a new importance if you are thinking
about raising purebred cats. You can save yourself from future headache
by having a systematic and accurate records.
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