Animal Genetics

Animal breeding is a branch of animal science that addresses the evaluation of genetic value in terms of estimated breeding value (EBV) of domestic livestock. Animals have been selected for breeding with superior EBVs in growth rate, and egg, meat, milk, or wool production, as well as other important desirable traits. Breeding animals begins with a decision to continue with a current population of animals or to replace part or all of it with new breeds or lines. Region, country, climate, management, prevalent diseases and parasites, product types, import restrictions, and history influence popularity and choice of breeds and lines. For some species and places, livestock producers used the same breeds over long periods, but in other species and places they often changed the breeds. The predominant breed for dairy cattle production is Holstein in many countries with temperate climates. Commercial egg production depends on selected lines developed from Leghorn chickens. Beef cattle, swine, and sheep producers use many breeds to adapt to regional and marketing differences.

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