MOOC Evaluating Animal Breeding Programmes

Learn how to evaluate an ongoing breeding programme in terms of both genetic progress and genetic diversity, and how to translate that genetic progress from the breeding programme to the farmer’s work.

Organised by Wageningen University & Research
Duration 6 weeks, 4-6 hours per week

Why follow this course?

Animal breeding involves the selective breeding of domestic animals with the intention to improve desirable (and heritable) qualities in the next generation. This course introduces the steps required to design a program for breeding animals and teaches the genetic and statistical concepts that are needed to build a solid breeding program.

In this course you will learn how an animal breeder balances the need for improving desirable qualities of the animals with the need for genetic diversity and long sustainability of the program. The scientific concepts in genetics that are applied in animal breeding will be explained and you will learn to apply the models and computational methods that are used in animal breeding.

Knowledge in the area of statistics at 2nd or 3rd year university level is needed to follow this course successfully.

Is this course for you?

Professionals working with animals will use the knowledge from this course to understand the impact of breeding on their populations, and will be able to include the genetic principles in their decisions. For further studies such as M.Sc. level courses in breeding and genetics, this course will allow you an advanced starting point.

Although this course is open to everyone, it is particularly useful for breeders of:

  • Cows
  • Poultry/chickens
  • Horses
  • Pig/swine
  • Dogs
  • Sheep
  • Goat
  • Fish
  • Prawns/shrimp

Professional Certificate Programme: Animal Breeding and Genetics

This course is part of the Professional Certificate Programme “Animal Breeding and Genetics”. Join the other course in the programme, Genetic Models for Animal Breeding, and advance your career as a breeder.

The course is developed with financial support and input from the Koepon Foundation.

What you will learn

  • the basics of evaluating breeding programmes
  • about crossbreeding and dissemination of genetic improvement
  • how to evaluate breeding programmes
  • about genetic diversity in monogenic recessive disorders
  • about genetic diversity at population level
  • about breeding programmes in practice