Livestock breeding is an effort to renew the genetic quality of livestock through mating and selection mechanisms. Cattle breeding has the aim of producing new individuals who have better genetic quality than their parents. The urgency of livestock breeding when viewed from the productivity perspective, is an effort to increase productivity by producing the expected superior characteristics.
What is the function of livestock breeding ?
So because there is livestock breeding, this will produce superior seeds, can increase livestock production, improve product quality (eggs, meat, feathers or others), improve reproduction, add economic value to livestock, improve effectiveness and feed alteration which will affect the increase in livestock production. farmer's income.
As a simple example of livestock breeding, when a farmer has chickens with various colors of feathers, then the breeder only wants chickens with certain feather colors, for example black, so the breeder will do a selection including culling (eliminating) chickens with different colors. which is not expected.
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Cattle that are kept and kept are only chickens with cool colors. In fact, breeders will only pair the hen with a male of the desired color. This is an example of livestock breeding that has been done by breeders so far.
The question after that is what children (first offspring) resulting from mating with parents with the kind of color that the breeder hopes just now will all be black? The answer could be all black and it could also be that there are still children who have colors other than black.
Why so ? Because the color in the first generation (Filial one / F1) is the result of chromosomal recombination or a combination of the genetics of the female and male parents which in the process occurs randomly. So, it could be that the gene that is passed on to a certain person in one of his children still carries the gene with the color of the feathers other than black.
To understand this process, for example, the gene that determines the color of chicken feathers is the H gene which if in a controlled condition will produce black feathers and the h gene, which if both are recessive, will produce a color, for example white.
The dominant gene is the gene that gives rise to certain characters and masks other genes, the other gene in this case is the recessive gene whose character will be covered by the dominant gene. The dominant gene is denoted by a capital letter (eg H) and the recessive gene is denoted by a lowercase letter (eg h).
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For example, when F1 is the result of crossing the Hh gene, for example, the chicken is black because the H gene covers the h gene. But if the 2nd gene is hh then the chicken is white. This is an example of a monohybrid marriage with 1 different character.
Genes H and h in the example above in genetics are known as genotypes, namely genes that affect the appearance of a real character that cannot be seen. And color as a character that is displayed because there is an impact of genotype is said to be a phenotype. This phenotype is also known as performance that can be secured by the five senses.
Hopefully the example above can give us more knowledge about how the phenotype or the appearance of certain performances is controlled by certain genes. Livestock breeding focuses on this genetic update so that it can produce the desired phenotype.
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This expected phenotype could include production characteristics such as weight gain, egg production, milk production, and other production characteristics. But of course to analyze the chances of the emergence of these production traits is not as simple as the appearance of the color of the feathers.
Production traits called quantitative traits are controlled by several genes, involve gene relationships, and can be controlled by the environment. And the color of the feathers (qualitative character) is only controlled by one gene and is not controlled by environmental factors.
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In general, the emergence of quantitative traits 70-75% is controlled by the environment and 25-30% is controlled by genetic factors. That's why in producing a breed or a breed of livestock with a character that is still the result of a breeding, it takes a long time, it even takes 5-10 generations.
Even so, the effort to produce a breed of livestock with a unique character is not impossible. There has been a lot of evidence that we can see, for example, Bali cattle, Madura cattle, Magelang ducks, Mojosari ducks, Bali ducks, and others are the results of livestock breeding.
This means, it is not impossible that we can produce new breeds of livestock with unique characters through livestock breeding. There are many benefits obtained through livestock breeding, including the following:
- Generate new breeds or breeds of livestock with unique and superior characters.
- Maintain the preservation of certain livestock species or characters.
- Increase livestock productivity.
- Increase in livestock community.
- Provision of animal protein needs from livestock.
- Increase the welfare of farmers.
Hopefully this article can provide additional knowledge for us about understanding livestock breeding and the benefits obtained by breeding livestock for livestock improvement.