Registered purebred and percentage Kiko Goats raised for hardiness, meat and pack goat prospects
Kopf Canyon Ranch

What are Breeding Coefficients?

What is the difference between a breeder a producer?
What is inbreeding, linebreeding and linecrossing 
...and why do I need more than a pedigree to determine relatedness?

We are Kiko breeders.
What is the difference between a breeder and a producer, and why does that matter when choosing breeding stock?

Breeders heavily consider and have a means of tracking genetics to produce breeding stock.  We use a powerful herd management software that allows us to quickly calculate breeding coefficients and track traits to determine if linebreeding is beneficial or detrimental. We use math when we choose breeding pens - coefficients and performance data to optimize the genetics, and maintain a diverse pool of breeding stock.  Producers breed for the production of offspring.

This is particularly important in our New Zealand stock, which by definition is bred exclusively from the original importation ancestry.

In the West and Northwest, Kiko breeders face the additional challenge of a more limited genepool, since the breed is still relatively "rare" in our region.

It is not uncommon to find two animals with different herd prefixes, and even different names on the pedigrees almost completely related.  How does this happen? Siblings, offspring from aunts and uncles, grand aunts and grand uncles...

When you choose a foundation herd from us - we can tell you exactly how related different pairings are...right down to the detail of percentage represented by each common ancestor.

As a Kiko breeder, it is our responsibility not to produce animals, but to preserve the integrity of the breed.

This is an example of a test breeding
of a 2018 doeling to several of our
2018 bucklings.
It shows the inbreeding coefficient of the pairing.

This is an example of a genetic contribution calculation of the ancestry 
of a 2018 doeling to paired to a specific buckling.
It shows the inbreeding coefficient of the pairing at 26.07%, and which lines would be genetically concentrated.

Test mating of a NZ doe to several of our NZ bucks. Do we want line breeding or line crossing?

To make our choice whether to linebreed or linecross, we look at the contribution of the common ancestors, and consider the traits that would be concentrated.

Defining inbreeding, linebreeding, and linecrossing: 

Breeders of purebred animals commonly employ one or more of the following breeding systems: inbreeding, linebreeding, and linecrossing. Each has advantages and disadvantages, and a breeder may wish to use only one system, or all three at different points to reach different goals.

Inbreeding: Defined as “mating together animals which are related so that the resulting offspring have one or more ancestors that occur on both the sire’s side and the dam’s side of the pedigree.” Close inbreeding would include the mating of full siblings, or father to daughter; more distant inbreeding might involve second cousins. Inbreeding is generally due to limited available stock - lack of options - where there is no breeding goal beyond offspring in mind.

Inbreeding can lead to “inbreeding depression”, a reduction in vigor, fertility and disease resistance. Breeds and populations differ in their tolerance to inbreeding depression; a general guideline used by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) is to keep inbreeding below 5% per generation, and 30% in any individual.

Linebreeding: A form of inbreeding, linebreeding involves concentration of a particular ancestor within a pedigree (rather than several ancestors, as in other forms of inbreeding). Usually, this individual is a particularly excellent representative of the breed. The goal is to create a flock as much like this individual as possible, so matings often involve breeding half-brother to half-sister. Linebreeding is calculated and intentional.

Linecrossing: A line (or strain) is a group of animals that are more closely related to each other than to the population as a whole. They might be the product of an inbreeding or linebreeding program. Linecrossing is the mating of individuals from one such line to those of another line. Generally, linecross individuals will show greater vigor, better growth, and more ‘bloom’, or ‘presence’ than individuals from either of the parent lines for at least the first generation. Thus, linecross individuals are more likely to succeed in the showring. Linecrossing can also be used to bring new vigor into an inbred or linecross flock.

There is an old quip that sums it up with humor: 
'If it works, it's linebreeding and if it doesn't, it's inbreeding."