The Breeding Toolbox: Introduction

If you breed animals of any kind, whether they be dogs, goats, or cattle, hopefully you have a goal.  Maybe you want to preserve a rare breed, or maybe you just want to perpetuate the good qualities of that favorite laying hen.

Once you have set a goal, the next step is to develop a path for reaching that goal.  Before you dig in and start planning, however, it might be a good idea to look over the four tools available to every animal breeder, no matter what species they raise.

The four tools are:

  1. Inbreeding.
  2. Linebreeding.
  3. Linecrossing.
  4. Crossbreeding.

It is important to remember that there is no such thing as a silver bullet.  Each of these four tools is exactly that—a tool, a means for reaching a desired end.  Just as a hammer cannot solve all of the world’s construction problems, neither can any one of these tools solve every genetic problem that comes along.  Every tool has its own unique set of strengths and weaknesses.

Throughout this series, you will learn more about each tool in the breeding toolbox, how and why it works genetically, and how to capitalize on its advantages while avoiding its pitfalls as much as possible.

For easy navigation, we have linked to each post below.

Complete Series
The Breeding Toolbox: Inbreeding


The Breeding Toolbox: Linebreeding


The Breeding Toolbox: Linecrossing


The Breeding Toolbox: Crossbreeding