Breeding for Resilience
Genetics can play an important role in determining animals’ susceptibility to disease and their responses to other physical, environmental and social stressors. Breeding for improved resilience fosters good health and wellbeing for animals in future generations, benefiting overall farm performance.
Resilience is an animal’s capacity to be minimally affected by, or to quickly recover from, challenges to their physical and mental states. Challenges may include disease, temperature stress, novel environments, human interactions and changes to social groups. Animals’ ability to cope under different conditions is in part determined by genetics. Selective breeding for favourable traits can make them more common in future generations. Indicators for general resilience are being researched, but health-related traits like longevity and growth can act as indicators for disease resilience to help protect the health status of your animals.