Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Thoughts on Culling...

Culling is a subject people prefer not to discuss because it has a negative effect. Yet, Webster uses “select” as one of the words to describe cull. It also means to pick out something inferior.

Culling to a rabbit breeder should mean one thing. To remove from the breeding population. In essence, culling is a form of negative selection. In its most extreme from it means to kill (slaughter) of the deformed or disease animal. Or to remove a rabbit that is less than superior quality from the breeding program by way of selling it as a pet, brood, fiber. At the better end of the scale , it means selecting those rabbits lacking in breeding potential or show potential for a specific breed.

If a breeder is doing his or her job some very good rabbits indeed will be chosen as pets, while those that are even better will be retained for breeding and showing. The best breeders have a number of rabbits that could stay out of the gene pool. Simply because they have adequate breeding stock. This is one reason why many breeders have a waiting list for prospective breeding to take place.

One method we use here at Fuzzibutt’s Rabbitry is  to cull our stock by way of artificial selection. Artificial selection is accomplished by human control of the breeding population based on criteria different from survival. It is culling by mind for the purpose of improving stock or eliminating undesirable characteristics. This elimination simply means that those rabbits that do not meet the breeder’s expectations are removed from the breeding and show pool.

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