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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 periodicals archive ?
If I may, I will call the commercial breeds "industrial" turkeys.
All of these breeds have their special characteristics, such as high prolificacy, good meat quality and strong disease-resistance, but their growth and carcass performances are much lower than that of the commercial breeds from Europe and North America.
They are not a common commercial breed as they lamb annually rather than on an eight month cycle which is desirable in our year round grocery store system.
Housing and feed is the same as for any commercial breed.
Despite being the main commercial breed in Wales at one time, very few native Welsh Breed Pigs are left in the country, although there are a small number of herds kept in England and elsewhere.
At least a few of them say it's because the white indicates a commercial breed, and they know it's likely to be a better rabbit that yields more and better meat than a colored one, which was not bred for meat production.
Dr Denis Larkin, of the RVC, said: "The genetic integrity of these native breeds, and contemporary techniques of genetic selection, offer breeders in Wales the opportunity to develop the commercial flocks that will be comparable to commercial breeds like Texel - but better adapted to the local environment.
On the other hand, the WHC of breast meat from KND was significantly higher than the corresponding part in commercial breeds, which agrees with the present result.
Beef sold and used in the mass production market can be male offspring from dairy cattle, older dairy cattle or new commercial breeds that have been developed to grow quick and big - none of which have been produced with flavour in mind.
While commercial breeds and those used for wool production tend to be more docile, those that were bred to take care of themselves on a range or developed for meat production are more cautious.
Rare breeds offer continuity for our conservation work, but there is possibly a more efficient utilisation of forage and greater financial return from using more commercial breeds.
Commercial breeds reach table weight in half that time.

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