Factors to be considered before Cross-Breeding

First of all, for cross-breeding you must have all the qualities you want in your animals in mind and be sure the animals you are crossing can give you those qualities. Also be conscious of the sizes of the breeds of the animals you are crossing so that you will decide appropriately whether to use animals that will not give you delivery problem or be prepared to help the animals deliver.

You should also know that in cross-breeding, you will likely need the help of an expert to put you through. So in venturing into this, you should look for either a Vet. Doctor, an Animal Scientist or an Animal Health Technologist or any professional for proper guidance.

Cross breeding is the process of breeding with the intention to create offspring that share the traits of both parent lineages or to produce an animal with hybrid vigour (the improved or increased function of any biological quality in a hybrid offspring).

In the developing world, cross breeding mainly seeks to improve the milk production of dairy cattle. Unlike milk production in developed countries where certain breeds of cows produce around 30 litres a day, cows in some developing countries can only produce 1-2 litres per day.

Although productive capacity varies depending on the quality of feeding, nutrition and animal husbandry, much has to do with genetics.

Selection and cross-breeding are the two main tools used to achieve genetic changes in livestock populations. Selection implies genetic improvement based on variation among individuals within the population (breed).

This process is often referred to as straight-breeding. In contrast, cross-breeding involves making use of variation among populations (breeds).

Straight-breeding and cross-breeding programmes may represent components within a broader breeding strategy; they are not mutually exclusive and are often used in combination.

However, such combinations depend on first developing the capacity to operate each element in a sustainable manner. Among the many factors that must be considered in the development of a breeding programme are:

• the animal species involved;

• the types of traits considered;

• the availability, accessibility and affordability of different breeds;

• the production environment;

• the time frame for the planned genetic improvement (improvement through straight-breeding usually takes longer than through cross-breeding); and

• the infrastructure of the livestock sector and the resources allocated to the program.

See also: Disadvantages of Cross-Breeding

What Is Cross-breeding?

Crossbreeding is the mating of two animals that are different breeds within the same species. The key to this definition is the term species. Remember, species refers to a group of organisms that have many of the same characteristics, so they naturally mate together. Examples of a species are the dog species, cat species, horse species, chimpanzee species, or the dolphin species. Scientists believe there are over 8 million species in the world, so this species list could go on and on!

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Just to make sure you truly have your brain wrapped around this definition, let’s talk about something that crossbreeding is NOT. Crossbreeding IS NOT hybridization. Hybridization is the breeding of animals from TWO different species. An example of this would be taking a horse and breeding it with a zebra. Because these animals are from two different species, their offspring, or baby, would be a hybrid, not a crossbreed.

Now, let’s look at a few examples of crossbreeding.

Is It a Dalmatian or a Bulldog?

A Bullmation
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Meet the crossbreed known as a Bullmatian. This is what your friend’s dog is. Both parents are from the dog species, but they are from different breeds. One parent is from the Dalmatian breed, while the other is from the Bulldog breed.

You might be asking yourself, why would people crossbreed these dogs? Well, usually crossbreeding is done to make a better animal – in other words, to take advantage of the good traits in both parents and pass them to the offspring. For example, because of a Bulldog’s short nose, the breed usually has breathing problems. However, when you crossbreed a Dalmatian with a Bulldog, you get an offspring with a longer nose, like a Dalmatian. Hence, you solve the breathing problem!

Related: Anatomy of Fishes: Female Fish and their Reproductive Strategies

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