The Breeding Toolbox: Linebreeding

Linebreeding and inbreeding are closely related.  In fact, linebreeding could be considered a subcategory of inbreeding. Because the two tools are so similar, there is quite a bit of confusion about the differences between linebreeding and inbreeding.  Simply put, linebreeding is a method of increasing the influence of one or more animals on a genetic…

The Breeding Toolbox: Inbreeding

First, to tackle the most controversial tool in the breeding toolbox—inbreeding. The definition of inbreeding is simple. Inbreeding is the practice of mating two closely related animals. The subject becomes more complicated when breeders try to define how close is “close.” Of course, all animals of the same kind are related, tracing back to a…

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…

Storey’s Illustrated Guide to 96 Horse Breeds of North America

Too many horse breed encyclopedias neglect the breeds that have originated in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.  They are thorough enough, containing numerous foreign breeds that most Americans will never see, but they overlook the amazing and useful horses right under our noses. If you want to learn more about the horse breeds found…

Breeds of Livestock

The varied livestock breeds of the world have fascinating histories and characteristics.  Many country living enthusiasts have spent enjoyable hours researching their favorite breeds. One good source of information is the Breeds of Livestock site put together by Oklahoma State University.  This is a handy online encyclopedia-type reference packed with facts about both popular and…

Beef Cattle Frame Scoring

Take a quick look through our cattle breed guide and you’ll soon realize that cattle come in all shapes and sizes. It’s pretty obvious that if you live on a small acreage, you’ll probably want a smaller breed, perhaps even a miniature breed. But what if you have a slightly bigger farm—40, 80, or maybe…

How Glyphosate-Resistant Crops Work

Glyphosate-resistant crops are prime examples of genetic engineering. These crops have been genetically modified to withstand the effects of herbicides that use glyphosate as the active ingredient, most notably the product Roundup.   How Glyphosate-Resistant Crops Resist Herbicides Like all other living things, plants need fatty acids to survive. Unlike animals, however, plants do not…

The Two Subspecies of Cattle

Did you know that cattle breeds are commonly categorized into two different subspecies? While the two subspecies can breed and produce fertile offspring, they do come from different parts of the world and have very distinctive characteristics. The species names are: Bos taurus taurus. Bos taurus indicus. Bos taurus taurus Simply put, Bos taurus taurus…

EPDs for Beef Cattle: Pros and Cons

Now that you know the basics of how EPDs work, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of this breeding tool.  How can you maximize its potential without running into its pitfalls?   Pros Proven effectiveness.  EPDs work.  If a producer has a goal, using EPDs to make breeding selections is a proven…