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1. a group of organisms within a species, esp a group of domestic animals, originated and maintained by man and having a clearly defined set of characteristics
2. a lineage or race



in animal husbandry, a group of agricultural animals of one species (cattle, horses, sheep, swine) requiring the same maintenance conditions and having similar physical and economically useful hereditary characteristics. A breed usually includes a large number of animals (as many as 5,000 breeding females according to D. A. Kislovskii) to make it possible to select for and against traits within the breed, thus improving the breed further. In terms of heredity, a breed consists of unidentical individuals. However, the genetically different types within the breed—zonal types (varieties), production types (for example, the heavy and light Orlov trotters), male lines, and female families—have been arranged in a system. As a result, the breed has a composite structure allowing for genetic selection in breeding purebred animals.

Agricultural breeds were created as the result of long production activity by man. A distinction is made among primitive, stud, and transitional breeds. The primitive breeds developed under conditions of extensive subsistence farming through “unconscious” artificial selection and the strong influence of natural selection. Such breeds are well adapted to local natural conditions and show little variability. The animals are hardy and have low but universal productivity. Indigenous types are the basic elements constituting these breeds.

Stud breeds were developed under conditions of intensive market production and a high level of zootechnical sophistication. Because they depend less on natural conditions in their origin, these breeds are less stable but have greater heritability and increased variability. They are the source of many types of highly productive crossbreeds that can be bred under different natural conditions. For example, Dutch and Simmental breeds of cattle, Large White swine, and Thoroughbred riding horses are found in many countries. Most present-day breeds are stud breeds, which are bred principally to obtain lines of the outstanding males and families of outstanding females. The primary method of improving breeds is purebred breeding, the highest stage of which is breeding by lines.

Most breeds of agricultural animals were developed between the late 18th century and the mid-19th century. In the USSR, approximately 60 new breeds have been developed, and all low-productivity local breeds have been greatly improved.


Kislovskii, D. A. Razvedenie sel’skokhoziaistvennykh zhivotnykh. Moscow, 1951.
Borisenko, E. Ia. Razvedenie sel’skokhoziaistvennykh zhivotnykh, 4th ed. Moscow, 1967.



A group of animals that have a common origin and possess characteristics that are not common to other individuals of the same species.
References in classic literature ?
To which Sancho made answer, somewhat sulkily, "She's no strumpet, nor was her mother, nor will either of them be, please God, while I live; speak more civilly; for one bred up among knights-errant, who are courtesy itself, your words don't seem to me to be very becoming.
For as offspring resemble their parents, so usury is money bred of money.
He had bred true to the straight wolf-stock--in fact, he had bred true to old One Eye himself, physically, with but a single exception, and that was he had two eyes to his father's one.
But can you use different animals for the same purpose, unless they are bred and fed in the same way?
Since full-blooded Boers were extremely expensive, a lot of goat breeders bought a Boer buck to breed to their Nubian does, and then bred back the offspring to increase the percentage of Boer blood in their herds.
BRED Bank (Fiji) Limited and BRED (Vanuatu) Limited are arms of BRED Banque Populaire, the largest regional banking society in France's second major banking group Banque Populaire Caisse d Epargne (BPCE) Group.
Wallridge Moor Whistler, bred by Caroline Anderson, was first-placed Shearling tup, Male Champion and overall Breed Champion.
Eastern Spadefoots bred (oviposited) 26 times, 1-3 times per year, during 12 of 17 years (70.
Only dogs can be bred with such ariation in so little time, which's probably why hunters who first solated and selectively bred our modern retrievers didn't just subtly alter existing breeds.
Not to mention, save money,'' said Roller, who bred the Malinois out of his Canyon Country home.