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Old 02-22-2013, 09:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Breeders

I am not planning on breeding, ever. But I am curious about your breeding programs.

What do you breed for? I know you're all great about health and want good personalities, but what else?

The breeders I've worked closely with in the past bred Netherland Dwarf rabbits (so they followed a breed standard, and her rabbits were spectacular), old English sheepdogs (beyond breed standard, she really emphasized function and produced wonderful working dogs), and half Arabian sport horses (he wanted his horses to be sound and energetic and rideable for thirty years).

So, all these breeders wanted good health and temperament, but also focused on a breed standard for confirmation and coloring, and on producing animals that would hold up to hard work and last. The horse guy thought this was especially important-- few people can afford or are willing to keep an unrideable pasture pet that can live 30 years, unless the animal is already old.

Is there a breed standard, or are there shows? Do you breed for color (this is very frowned on in the horse world, simply bc many color breeders aren't breeding quality animals, but since hedgehogs don't have the same demands as horses, I could see this being a good thing)?

I know a lot goes into it, but what makes you consider or dismiss a match?

I've thought about breeding a heritage breed of chickens if we ever have a farm (I love chickens, love the heritage breeds and want them to continue and be pure, and since I'd want chickens anyways, would love the tax break you get for raising those very rare breeds), but in that case the emphasis would be on health, genetic variety, and breed standard.

I know this is very long winded, but I've wondered before about people who breed small pets. In horses the emphasis is so much on usability, so if that's removed from the equation, I'm not sure what is focused on.
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New hedgehog mom to 2-year-old blind rescue, Knarla!
She deserves the best, so I'm very open to advice or tips.
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