Do You Have a Breeding Plan?

Do You Have a Breeding Plan?

If you raise animals, for hobby or for money, you could probably benefit from jotting down a few ideas of how you want your breeding operation to progress.  You don’t want to just randomly pair animals and hope for the best outcome, when a simple plan can help you outline the traits you want to reproduce and the goals you would like to achieve.

For example, I raise dairy goats, and I like to do it in a nontraditional way, with less commercial feed and chemical inputs.  Since typical dairy goats are bred to require more feed and produce more milk, I have to fine tune my operation to breed only goats who do better with my unique goals.

No matter what kind of animal you raise, take the time and think of your desired end result.  Do you want to breed your favorite dog to get another just like her?  Are you raising cows who need to perform well on scrubby pastures?  Having breeding goals helps you identify the most important characteristics of your animals and find ways to enhance those traits.

A breeding plan will also allow you to set criteria on when to remove an animal from your breeding program.  With my goats, if an animal appears to not be as thrifty as the rest, I will not breed her, because I want to pass on strength and vitality, not poor immune systems and delicate digestive systems.

There are many extra animals in our world.  It seems responsible to breed carefully and according to a measurable goal, instead of breeding just to get babies, unless of course your goal is meat, and then it isn’t such a critical matter.