Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Geckos: We now have three leopard geckos, given to us by a guy Tim met at the laundromat. I am still getting used to them. There is something about that that is too strongly reminiscent of serpents for me to pick one up yet....but I sit by the tank and watch them undulate around the ample landscape. We planted a large bon-sai type tree in there, and they climb it or lay underneath it.

Goats: I let Reflex, the senior buck, into the main herd and penned up all the doelings who are too young or small to be bred. There is going to be some inbreeding and quite a bit of linebreeding going on....but in all honesty, the other buck, while he's of decent quality, just isn't what Reflex is. Reflex is strongly, heavily linebred on Sodium Oaks Sasin. See his pedigree and inbreeding data here. That pedigree contains Sodium Oaks or Shahena'ko (which is strongly based on Sodium Oaks) almost exclusively if you track it back far enough. He is 20.34% inbred, with 7% of that being Sasin, and next two top contributors are Sasin's sire and dam.

:gasp:!! Inbreeding!!!! Egads!!

Not at all. Careful, judicious inbreeding or linebreeding in animals can procure some of the best animals there are. It gives consistency. The caveats: you MUST cull aniamls that are substandard and you must be careful about mating two animals which exhibit the same negative traits (although this applies also with outcrossing).

What is interesting and makes Reflex so special: many Sasin daughters or progeny highly inbred on him are very hocky, as Sasin himself was. The daughters also tend to have overly large teats (a hazard to the doe- they're likelier to get caught on soemthing and torn or injured). But Reflex just happens to have a very wide, open rear leg set, and so do his daughters, and only one of them so far has had huge teats. Most of all, he's a very consistent buck- his daughters usally come out like peas in a pod. Did I mention that he's always had a very calm, gentle, non-aggressive disposition, and his daughters tend to as well?

I love that buck. I can't wait to have another crop of his daughters hit the ground.

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