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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 awhile.
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 existing line.

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 within


Updated : 28 Feb 2004




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