Selective Breeding of Animals

Selective Breeding of Animals

What is Selective Breeding?

What is selective breeding? Selective Breeding is a process used by meat and poultry farmers to increase yield of product from their animals . They use this because it is an effective low cost way to increase their profits with little out of pocket cost. The process is simple, in fact humans have been instinctively doing it for hundreds of years. It has been in the last 4 decades that we have truly realized the potential and have taken it to the max. For example, in the Mesopotamian times, corn was a hard grain with only 5-10 grains on a cob. It took a hammer to get the grain off, and it was extremely dry due to low water content. The Mesopotamian's figured out that if they took the seeds from the plants that produced the juiciest grain, and plants that yielded the most, they could plant them for even better results. As they continued this practice for hundreds of years, the Egyptians started to apply it to live stock by breeding the best producing animals together to achieve a even better offspring. Now, humans were realizing the benefits and used it to their advantage for higher profits, and better food production. According to Exposing the, "Long before humans understood genes, they were selectively breeding animals (dog’s) and plants (maize (corn)) to improve desired characteristics. This means that we were using selective breeding to get the desired dog or livestock long before we even knew what we were actually doing for ourselves".

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What About Right Now?

Selective Breeding is still used to this day by farmers to increase their production. Many chicken companies use selective breeding in combination with steroids to produce more meat per chicken. For example, some major chicken manufactures such as Tyson Foods, Pilgrim Farms, Sanderson Farms, Purdue Foods use selective breeding to keep the flavors and tenderness of their chickens throughout the slaughter process. This is just one of the ways that the "Big 4" use selective breeding to increase their profits and productivity.