The role of a breeding animal is to pass its genes (which code for traits) onto the next generation. The goal of selective breeding is to produce animals with more desirable traits.

When selecting a breeding animal, it is important to remember:

  • A combination of genes is passed from one generation to the next and the traits they code for (desirable or otherwise) may be expressed in the progeny generated in your herd.
  • An animal inherits its genes from its parents – 50% from its sire and 50% from its dam
  • Ideally, each new generation will be an improvement on the previous

It is difficult to look at an animal and see its genetic potential solely through visual assessment.

Key message

In buying a breeding animal, you are buying a package of genes