Genealogy of Agricultural Animals

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Genealogy of Agricultural Animals


ancestral records that establish the origin of agricultural animals. Genealogies of agricultural animals have long been kept in many countries; they became widespread in the second half of the 19th century with the intensive development of new breeds in livestock breeding. Modern genealogies of agricultural animals are in the form of tables, in which the descendants are at the top of the table and the ancestors are arranged in a descending line at the bottom. Information about the mother is entered on the left side of the table, and information about the father on the right (see Figure 1).

Genealogies of agricultural animals include the name of the animal, the number of the studbook or the inventory number, the time and place of birth, the purity of the breed, the live-weight, productivity, and measurements of the animal, as well as the most important information about the animal’s ancestors. Cattle genealogies indicate the milk yield, the milk’s fat content, the liveweight of female ancestors, the cattle’s external appearance, and the productivity of the descendants of male ancestors. Sheep genealogies give information on liveweight and wool productivity. Swine genealogies show the liveweight, fertility, and milk production of sows and the weight of piglets at birth and at weaning. Horse genealogies indicate liveliness or carrying capacity. Chicken genealogies show egg-laying ability or meat qualities.

The hereditary characteristics of an animal can be evaluated more exactly if the animal’s ancestors, especially the males, were evaluated by the quality of their offspring. The importance of genealogies of agricultural animals in pedigree stockbreeding is supported by international zootechnical practice. A knowledge of the genealogy of an agricultural animal makes it possible to estimate the animal’s farming and breeding qualities more correctly at a young age, to choose forms of animal selection, and to establish the direction of pedigree stockbreeding.


Borisenko, E. Ia. Razvedenie sel’skokhoziaistvennykh zhivotnykh, 4th ed. Moscow, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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