Outlined below is how we at Fort York
interpret line and inbreeding. Others may disagree or agree,
but from our research and knowledge we believe the following to be true
and this is what we do within our caviary
Any breeding within a family that is as
close as first cousins, is considered to be Inbreeding. Anything
more distant is considered to be Line Breeding.
Inbreeding is used to purify the
stock and improve certain strains by the concentration of the
genes and/or their characteristics. Fort York uses a
combination of both Inbreeding and Line Breeding to enhance a
certain trait we would like to see more of , we than breed cavies
that are closely related but will not breed any closer than parent to
offspring. This type of inbreeding is done occasionally only to
enhance a trait we would like to try and pull out, other than that we
solely rely on Line Breeding which entails breeding cousin to cousin,
nephew to aunt, niece to Uncle, Grandfather to Granddaughter, second
cousins and so on.
Upon weaning of pups, the chosen pups
that we have decided to hold back are placed into individual show holes
to be prepared for showing or prepared for future breeding
prospects. The young cavy is watched to see where
their faults and strengths lay, their pedigrees are than studied and
than are paired with this info in mind,
The pedigrees are studied to insure the cavies chosen to be paired are
not to closely related.
We than study the chosen breeding pair to see where their
strengths and weaknesses lie , we try to pair up breeding pairs that
will compensate one another, every cavy will have at least on fault.
Every few generations an outcross is brought in to freshen the
blood so to speak and to possibly improve a particular point, such as
broader shoulders, more width between the eyes, better density, texture
and size, but again the outcross brought in must have similar qualities
and is test bred before being used extensively to ensure he will be a
good cross into the line..
Some people avoid line breeding and
bring in new stock continuously from many different sources and than end
up with not so uniform animals and can not understand why the two cavies
paired up didn't produce outstanding offspring even thou the parents are
outstanding, a lot of the reasoning behind is that the previous breeder
probably had done a lot of line breeding to make a nice gene pool where
the bloodlines are all close but when bred to an outcross line with
different qualities they just didn't click, always best to stick with
the same line or bloodlines, if bringing in a new line always introduce
slowly to see if the new blood will cross well with your existing one,
if starting out purchase one line and work with that one line for
To produce quality cavies you do require to do some line breeding to
create cavies with strength, conformity, size and coat qualities
You will also require several years to
get a well established line, you will be breeding using only with the
"blood" of your line and concentrating on breeding out faults.
To concentrate on developing your lines and breeding out faults you
would concentrate on
1. Selective breeding within your line
2. Bringing in an outcross to correct certain faults, this outcross
should have the traits that you are looking for, thus breeding them into
your line slowly., keep the best pups back and breed back to your
Also, to succeed in successful
line breeding and an overall good breeding program, you will need
to have a good tracking/record program so you can
follow your work and be able to figure out the best possible breeding.
From looking at the cavy and their backgrounds and keeping notes on each
cavy as to their strengths and where their weaknesses lay, success
will be sure to follow.
You can keep good records two
ways, one by hand-written notes that are placed in a book or
folder , on cue cards or whatever way works for yourself.
Fort York uses a cavy registry program especially made for cavies
to track their background history, creates 3 & 4 generation
pedigrees, tracks breeding records and all cavies can be tracked
by an ear number so you can find offspring, siblings etc., tracks where
all cavies have gone when left our caviary and who is residing within
Fort York. We highly recommend Evans
Registry Program for cavies
When starting out, remember your breeding stock are the
foundation of any good breeding program thus should be purchased from a
reliable breeder. This breeder should have the quality that you are
looking for and should be able to provide you with as much background
information as required.
If you have enough room you can have
more than one line at the same time , this way you can outcross from one
line to another thus avoiding having to bring in a new outcross every
few generations to freshen the line so to speak, you just have to go to
your other line, another reason to keep good up to date records.
By using line breeding in your breeding program , you can work on
producing high quality animals and you will not require a lot of cavies
as you will be working with the blood of these animals and knowing the
line is there mediocre animals would not be kept as you would not have
the need to keep them back as you have more of the bloodline available
Updated : 28 Feb 2004