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Line-breeding and in-breeding thoughts & reasons

This is a discussion on Line-breeding and in-breeding thoughts & reasons within the Horse Breeding forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category
  • The joys of inbreeding
  • Why do people line breed horses

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    09-19-2013, 05:04 PM
  #11
Trained
Side Bar.....So where and how did the human race start from the Jewish perspective DB? As in do you believe in the Adam and Eve story, which makes us all descendants of two people?
     
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    09-19-2013, 05:07 PM
  #12
Trained
Every time you do NOT outcross you reduce the amount of genetic material. Cheetahs have such a low gene pool that zoos are the only way to breed and maintain any wild numbers now. They almost became extinct and might still go under.
My other argument against inbreeding and line breeding is "Impressive." There is a genetic abnormality found in QH's with Impressive (the stallion) blood, and people who buy horses bred from an Impressive line get them tested. Many are NOT able to perform in a sport.
This happened bc of inbreeding and line breeding.
In fact, IMHO QH's as a whole are a great breed bc there are so many different breed lines that run through it.
If you read the book, "Secretariat", the author takes a chapter to run through his ancestry. Even 40 years ago some TB breeders realized that the massive amount of inbreeding and line breeding in the TB studbooks had created physical problems. Secretariat is fairly outcrossed, at least as much as possible, with ancestors from Ireland, England and the U.S.
Just some food for thought.
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    09-19-2013, 05:10 PM
  #13
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbarabians    
All purebred animals are very closely related they have to be to have the same traits.
All morgans descended from 1 horse all TBs from 3 arabian stallions, Haflinger are all related to one horse etc.

I will have to check my haffy history, but actually no not all purebred animals are closely related, was the arab breed created by a person, or was it developed from the type of horse that lived in that part of the world? The Morgan yes, Arab? Well I wonder, unless we believe in the Story of Noah, and then all horses are descended from an original pair.
     
    09-19-2013, 05:23 PM
  #14
Super Moderator
There is an old saying which is little used nowadays,

BREED CLOSE CULL HARD.
     
    09-19-2013, 05:45 PM
  #15
Started
Foxhunter most don't have the heart to Cull hard these days. Twenty years ago you never saw dilute aussies, the result of breeding a merle to a merle dog, often resulting in deaf or blind puppies. It was done twenty years ago, but no one wanted to admit that they had produced a deaf/blind puppy and kill those ones off. Now its really common and a "fashion" it seems in some circles to own/train a deaf/blind dog.

I think while inbreeding is done in many cases to "start" a breed there is no real need for it with established breeds. As others have said, it doubles up on good but it also doubles up on bad genes. Sometimes it leaves only the skeletons in the closet for which to make a body. Some one else mentioned the cheetah and I will mention the banana. Banana's are incredibly inbred, they are basically clones of one another. Which means that if we get a banana blight (not entirely uncommon/unlikely) it will easily destroy the worlds population of bananas. That would be bad for a lot of people, who make a living growing, or selling bananas. So agricultural scientists are actually working on "genetically modifying" the banana in an attempt to increase its genetic variability and prevent a banana crash.

Horses are not that different and with so many unsuitable horses being bred and so many horses being created I don't see a need for it. I know members (who I respect in many matters) are very pro inbreeding/line breeding. I am just not for it because I think its hard to find a horse out there that compliments your horse; however, its possible. We have at our finger tips basically the entire equestrian world (via the internet) with hundreds of people advertising their stallion or mare. Which means you can probably find a horse that compliments your horse. It might take longer and be more expensive than using a sibling but I think the end product would be a better for the breed/species as a whole.
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    09-19-2013, 07:34 PM
  #16
Started
I personally am very careful about a horse's ancestors when I am looking at breeding. I don't mind 5 or 6 generations back having a couple of common ancestors, but close line breeding, or in breeding, definitely not. I had a thoroughbred, bred for racing, with almost no line breeding in her closer relatives. Once you got back to the 1800's you started to see repeat names, but she was fairly out crossed, and a very nice example of a racing thoroughbred. My Arabian mare I had was the same way, she had three names, each only repeated twice in the fifth generation, but most of her lines were all different names, and again, a very nice example of the Arab breed. That being said, I do see a point in further generations back of having some common names, because they do set a type, and especially if the breed has gone off in an unforseen direction, sometimes recrossing to something you know can bring it back. I know someone who had an Arabian, decided to breed her to one of the stallions from the farm where she was originally bred, and somehow when the breeder sent them the semen for ai, they sent the wrong stallion, and she ended up getting bred back to her dad. They had no idea until the baby was born with several different problems, and a color he shouldn't have been if his sire was the horse they asked for. He has basically spent his life as an expensive pasture pet, and the owner opted to not breed her mare to the right stallion. There are risks associated with line and in breeding, and I agree that unless you really know what you are doing, have done extensive research on those lines, and on any potential problems that have arisen, you should stick with not doing it.
     
    09-19-2013, 07:52 PM
  #17
Yearling
I see no difference in line and inbreeding, though most people seem to see inbreeding as a no no and line breeding as okay. Line breeding is still inbreeding, especially if the sire and dam are within three or four generations. In/line breeding animals has the same genetic consequences it can have in people, and it bumps the chances of genetic issues quite a bit. (We had a while unit on this in my Genetics class last semester but focused on the line breeding of sled dogs). It's not as taboo with animals as with people but the problems are the same.

I would not buy a horse that was 'line bred' or inbred if I could help it. Horse might be dandy now but who knows what might pop up down the line. (I feel like my opinion is unpopular here, but the thread DID ask for opinions).

And yes, the first bunch of generations of any breed (especially a 'pure' breed) can be pretty heavily inbred - That's why inbreeding can cause issues, it multiplies the chances of the issues that stemmed from that showing up again.

EDIT: Dressagebelle, you said it beautifully. I agree with almost everything you said.
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    09-19-2013, 08:30 PM
  #18
Yearling
The joys of line/in-line breeding are as timeless as the history of humans breeding livestock. Not just horses, but all domestic animals. In relative recent history it's been used to bring back breeds that were on the brink of extinction. In the equine world I'll use the Friesian as an example. By the end of WW II the gene pool for the breed was almost gone. The remaining "pure" Friesian blood was used with obvious in-line breeding along with a certain amount of selected cross breeding of horses that had a high % of Friesian blood, but were not "pure". All of these off spring were eventually in-line bred to some degree (grandfathers, great aunts, cousins, etc.....) in the effort to bring back the breed while creating a greater number of breeding stock.
That's the up side of it. Salvaging in hopes of not losing.
There can be a down side (I'll stay with the Friesians just because the KFPS was kind enough to give me a great example of both sides of the coin).
The concept can become so entrenched that common sense (and healthier breeding practices) can be sacrificed in the interest of "purity".
The Dutch registry restricted stallions approved for breeding from being used in cross breeding. If the were used to cross breed they were removed from the "approved for breeding" stud book and were no longer acceptable for breeding with approved mares.
Now the German registry was a bit more "enlightened". The broke with the Dutch registry and openly allowed approved stallions to be used in cross breeding. Now in case you're wondering why any of this matters....over time it can (depending on what's allowed). If stallion A1 is bread to non or part Friesian mare 2Z and they have a filly: cross A1/2Z who is bred to Friesian stallion G5 producing a filly G5/A1/2Z, who is then bred to Stallion B3 (and so on). Eventually (sooner than you might think) you end up with a horse that is 95% or better pure Frisian, but with good, clean, non line/in-line blood. Multiply this by 100 and you can see how a breed can quickly be saved AND brought back with healthy diversity in the blood lines.
Line/in-line breeding has it's uses and it's place. It's value, however unpopular it might be with some people, is undeniable. Without it many of the breeds we have today (that now have strong and diverse blood lines) would not exist. The problem is when registries lose sight on reality and cling to the tiny fraction of "old" blood without realizing the value and need for the influx of unrelated blood to keep the breed strong and growing toward what should be the ultimate goal of have a breed with a broad diversity of "pure", but extremely distantly related blood available for continuing the breed.
     
    09-19-2013, 09:03 PM
  #19
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by beau159    
I am not a breeding guru. At all.

But I am extremely turned off by a horse that has the same name several times in its pedigree. If I am looking to buy a horse, I will often cross that horse out of my list of potentials. Call me uneducated, but it doesn't seem right to me for breeding close relations.

This thought has always striked me as interesting. What if Tina Charles and Michael Jordan got together to produce the ultimate basketball champion? And then that daughter got with her dad, and then their son got with their mom, to produce more? Disgusting right? But its okay when we do it with horses..... Just food for thought.
I'm not "pick on" your post, it just demonstrates my point well Beau...

It really is the human mind that gets in the way when people think of line breeding. The only reason its wrong is because society says so. It's really not an apples to apples view. Just like you cannot compare breeding an older stallion to a younger mare because its taboo for women to date/marry much older men. Horses have no concept of sexual morals.
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    09-19-2013, 09:16 PM
  #20
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporal    
Every time you do NOT outcross you reduce the amount of genetic material. Cheetahs have such a low gene pool that zoos are the only way to breed and maintain any wild numbers now. They almost became extinct and might still go under.
Surprisingly enough the Cheetah is not suffering from inbreeding depression, as much as would be predicted from common understanding.

There is even a degree of selection for inbreeding observed in the wild.
A study on birds was done and it showed a female preference for cousins over an unrelated individual.
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