Animal breeding education has some unique problems in comparison to other areas of animal science, such as reproduction and nutrition. Probably the largest is the time factor involved. Genetic progress can be easily characterized as progress made in small amounts per time unit, yet having a large cumulative effect. While the addition of a feed antibiotic may show large, positive results within a few days, a 2-lb. per year increase in adjusted 205-day cattle weights is not as easily seen. A major difference, though, is that the fed antibiotic has done its good; a higher level will not likely improve results. Thus, progress will not continue upwards but can only stay the same or possibly go down if the antibiotic is withdrawn. Genetic progress, however, continues if proper selection procedures are followed. So genetic selection can easily be more economically beneficial. But a semester of class-room work is hardly sufficient time for a noticeable difference to occur, and charts with progress plotted by year or generation generally create little student enthusiasm.



animal breeding, teaching animal breeding

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