Animal Breeding genetics

Animal Breeding Genetics South Africa

Animal genetics are utilised to optimise and improve the quality of our animal resources, from meat, to milk, to eggs. Our human population is ever-increasing, meaning more mouths to feed at a faster rate. Selective breeding allows for higher yields, as well as better resistance to climatic diseases typically found in livestock. Breeding genetics in South Africa has been in practice for over four decades across all nine provinces and contributes towards the sustainability of not only our food production, but also a large portion of our gross domestic profit (GDP).


Animal Breeding Genetics – The Benefits

Genetic selection is done to ensure that reproduction is controlled, and cross-breeding is not present in the process. Highly productive animals tend to be the most valuable in the breeding process, as they tend to be most resilient, and can produce higher yields with less need for medication and additional supplements in their feed, etc.

Enhancing livestock productivity

Animal breeding through the use of genetic selection improves livestock production and reproduction of breeds adapted to the local environments, and the establishment or the strengthening of artificial insemination programmes.


Using genetic selection for breeding, livestock are:

  • better suited to specific environments that differ;
  • more efficient at converting nutritional inputs into outputs;
  • more disease and pest resistant;
  • are able to withstand herbicides;
  • able to produce stronger, more resilient offspring;
  • healthier and produce a better tasting product.


How is Animal DNA Testing for Genetics Done?

DNA testing in animals is much like how humans are tested for genetics. The tests can identify specific genes related to diseases, as well as paternity and breeding. Generally, saliva or blood is used to determine specific genomes.


Animal genetic breeders offer farmers the most diverse ranges of breeding and management products and services. Farmers can choose from a wide portfolio of breeds as well as a wide choice of dominant males within each breed. The ultimate goal in animal genetics is to optimise farming and increase quantity and quality with controlled science.

For more information on these companies, as well as a host of other agricultural companies in South Africa, visit our directory.

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