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Jul 12, 2005
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I was wondering why some minis are bread within families - dam and sire have the same sire, or similar scenarios like brother to sister. etc. What can happen to these babies? Are they normal? It seems to me these babies would have problems - like in human babies. Just curious.
Actually the thing about inbreeding in Humans is a myth, there is an area of England where it was pretty much the norm as there was no contact with the then outside world, so brother married sister etc. First cousins were more than acceptable. No "Monster" babies and the population today, although still close knit, is still normal!! Now, if you go on generation after generation, in Humans, you start a slow loss of IQ but it descends slowly. In horses you can go on for many generations without any true abnormalities. What you do get is loss of conformation if you breed for bloodlines instead of conformation, and of course you start doubling up on any small faults- cow hocks, for example could become the norm, instead of something that happens occasionally. I have bred Sire to daughter, half siblings and Son to Dam without any problems at all. More insidious in it's effect is "line breeding" when there are many many crosses of the same animal in one pedigree. I have seen examples of a particular "breed" of horse where there are only two grandparents in name and the next generation is as bad- this eventually produces poor stock, but it does not produce deformities unless they are already there to be inherited.
I hope this wasn't a stupid question. I'm not a breeder. I was just curious
Well, that makes sense. Thanks for your reply. I like to learn new things.
No, it certainly was not a stupid question at all. Line-breeding and in-breeding has been used in the arabian equines for many years and when done right can produce AMAZING offspring.
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Actually the thing about inbreeding in Humans is a myth
Ahhhhh, here I beg to differ. There is a family not far from here, where the most unfortunate has happened, in that the father raped the young daughter. The poor little girl who is the result of that misbegotten and sinful act, is seven, has barely any intellegence, is spastic, and must be pushed around in a large baby carriage. Yes...carriage, as she is so small and frail, there is hardly anything to her, and she cannot even sit-up in a wheelchair. Perhaps there was something hidden in that bloodline, to enable this to happen...whatever the reason, it isn't the first time such things have happened as the result of human inbreeding.

Linebreeding is close enough, I personally see no reason ever, for inbreeding the past, perhaps it might have been necessary to "lock in" certain features. With all of the quality animals right next door...for what reason would it now be considered?
we have bred mother to son----- father to daughter and 1/2 bro/sister matings all with good results, BUT IT BRINGS OUT THE FAULTS AS WELL AS THE GOOD TRAITS. you MUST CULL severly if you plan to do a lot of this.
Humans cannot be directly parallelled to animals as, apparently, our gene pool is far smaller but, Yes, I would say possibly with that family all that happened was that two parts of a defective gene were automatically doubled up on and the poor wee mite has paid the price. Little ones like that earn their Angel Wings here, they pass straight to God's side, I really do believe. I nursed a sweetheart with a specific syndrome who sounds very similar to this little one- no inbreeding, no first cousins, it just happened. It does make you wonder though, exactly what we are doing in our quest for "perfection". Dobes have no end of problems (Dobes, not mine specifically) vWD, Hd, PRA, you name it, it's got an initial and it shows up in pedigree dogs. My friends pack of hounds has NO hereditary unsoundness- NONE!!! They are Bassets (Grand Vendeen) already an unsound breed in "pedigree" form, NO UNSOUNDNESS in his pack. He breeds only for Hunting ability and soundness. As soon as you start breeding for anyhting else, the animal suffers, it seems.
What about inbreeding 7 -8 times in the blood line? I think that is wrong... So many BAD traits can and will come out...
This is how many of the best horses in any breed are made however.. it takes knowing your line and the faults it tends to have and being totally honest with your eye as well as having the eye to cull
7 to 8 crosses may not be bad if the percentage of those crosses is far enough back. I personally believe that any cross that results in a horse being above 50% of any one animal is crossing that line as theoretically an animal that is only 50% of one horse would be equivalent to being a son or daughter of that horse. (Notice I said theoretically.... what really happens certainly could be much different.)

Here is an article that I think will answer many of your questions as to what is line breeding and what is incestuous breeding. The thing is that many people debate the issue as to how to determine how much percent wise of any one individual that the blood should be to be healthy, and how exactly to define line breeding and incestuous breeding. It also discusses why one would wish to line breed. I view the information in the article as a great place to start and it makes perfect sense to me in that one needs fresh blood coming in to help avoid the bad traits from taking over the line.

Also, be aware that genes do mutate. They can mutate at any time and the mutations may or may not be good. One of the first that comes to my mind in recent times is HYPP in quarter horses. It is traced back to just one horse who was heavily linebred. If you look at the fact that genes mutate, you have the reason to make sure to bring new blood into your herd so that you can help keep those genes that do mutate from destroying your offspring.

Here is the link to that article:

Yep, like Lisa and others have stated, it can produce wonderful results, but at the same time it can be just the opposite. One must be VERY critical in looking at their herd, and one must truelly cull anything that is not above par with what they are trying to obtain as those flaws are really "set" into the genes.
You need to really know your must be completely open to all the flaws that can become worse or set......and you MUST be willing to CULL.......I have inbred intensely with our rabbits with both good and wasn't the inbreeding itself that caused the bad...that was already there the inbreeding brought it about faster........and I bred dwarf breeds of rabbits so I am pretty familiar with alot that can go wrong.......most of the top lines/strains are created by inbreeding of some get consistent set type inbreeding is almost a must.........

Not dangerous but definately not for the average person.
Research! Research! Research!

This is where knowing pedigrees, and the strengths and weaknesses of various bloodlines is ESSENTIAL. You need to look at what those bloodlines have produced way way back in their pedigrees. If you don't have the information, don't do it.

But if you do....if you know that the bloodlines have certain positive characteristics, do it with the knowledge that there COULD be some negatives that will be emphasized as well.

For instance, as a kid on a farm raising registered Holsteins, we were line-breeding several particular bloodlines. As a result, we had a number of All-Americans. One bloodline in particular when linebred produced BEAUTIFUL udders, with a lot of awesome silky "milkiness." But the toplines could be just a tad big weak, so those that were linebred were very selectively chosen for this cross. The same care must go into such decisions with Minis.

This is not something that can be done willy-nilly just to get a particular name multiple times in a pedigree. When done right, the results can be spectacular.

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