Animal breeding is the method of mating closely related individuals. There are several methods employed in animals breeding, which can be classified into the following categories:
(a) Natural methods of breeding include inbreeding and out-breeding. Breeding between animals of the same breed is known as inbreeding, while breeding between animals of different breeds is known as out-breeding.
Outbreeding of animals is of three types:
- Out-crossing: In this type of out-breeding, the mating of animals occurs within the same breed. Thus, they have no common ancestors up to the last 4-5 generations.
- Cross-breeding: In this type of out-breeding, the mating occurs between different breeds of the same species, thereby producing a hybrid.
- Interspecific hybridization: In this type of out-breeding, the mating occurs between different species.
(b) Artificial methods of breeding include modern techniques of breeding. It involves controlled breeding experiments, which are of two types:
- Artificial insemination: It is a process of introducing the semen (collected from the male) into the oviduct or the uterus of the female body by the breeder. This method of breeding helps the breeder overcome certain problems faced in abnormal mating.
- Multiple ovulation embryo technology (MOET): It is a technique for cattle improvement in which super-ovulation is induced by a hormone injection. Then, fertilization is achieved by artificial insemination and early embryos are collected. Each of these embryos are then transplanted into the surrogate mother for further development of the embryo.
The best method to carry out animal breeding is the artificial method of breeding, which includes artificial insemination and MOET technology. These technologies are scientific in nature. They help overcome problems of normal mating and have a high success rate of crossing between mature males and females. Also, it ensures the production of hybrids with the desired qualities. This method is highly economical as a small amount of semen from the male can be used to inseminate several cattle.