Livestock - Rare Breeds


National Gene Bank

  • minimum we need to save to have a suitable genetic base for a species is 25 unrelated animals from each distinct population
    • split of semen and embryos
    • cattle, sheep, and goats
  • not yet a way of ethically getting embryos and semen from chickens
  • can only collect semen from pigs
  • not yet a way to ethically cryogenically store chicken genes
  • had made over 1,000 collections (October 2017)
  • 130 livestock populations we need to save, not including poultry (Rare Breeds Survival Trust, 2017)
  • each collection can cost thousands of pounds, to collect, to organise, and to store
1 of 4

Conservation Grazing

  • Chimney Meadows Nature Reserve reverted to a rich hay meadow
  • use greenhouse bedding so initially minor cultivations and pick the crop green
  • spread with muck spreads
  • first two years you are topping and grazing to allow it to establish
  • once established you use your hay crop
  • thought to take around 25 years to mature
  • need yellow rattle to establish meadows
    • low phosphate
    • lives on roots of grasses
    • allows wildflowers to establish
  • flocks of sheep and cattle used as they are the best adapted to graze the wildflowers
  • Hebridean Sheep more likely to graze scrub
  • Commercial sheep aren't as keen on grazing the scrub and wildflowers
  • Hebridean sheep can survive on lower nutrients
2 of 4

Rare Breeds Survival Trust

  • monitor rare and native breeds, total number of breeding females
  • Save: collect genetics from animals, usually semen and embryos
  • promote the breeding and registration of rare and native breeds
  • promote the use of rare breeds for food, fibre and conservation grazing
3 of 4

Grazing Animals Project

  • partnership of farmers, land managers, and conservation organisations
  • committed to promoting the benefits of grazing with the natural environment and cultural heritage in mind
4 of 4


No comments have yet been made

Similar Other resources:

See all Other resources »See all Animal Management resources »