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Learn about animal breeding with online courses and programs

Improving animal populations and advancing sustainable practices are critical in the world today. Learn about animal breeding with online courses delivered through edX.

What is animal breeding?

Animal breeding extends beyond livestock production; it's the scientific roadmap to unlock the genetic improvements, breeding values, and molecular genetics of food-providing animals.Footnote 1 For centuries, society has relied on domestic animals, and their health is paramount as the global population continues to grow. Animal production is an integral facet of food-production strategy, with genetic diversity and disease resistance playing crucial roles in ensuring food security. As society’s needs are addressed, animal welfare is equally significant.

Improving animal populations and advancing husbandry practices are critical. From farm animals to breeding animals, the genetic value and heritability of desirable traits are essential in building sustainable practices. 

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Animal breeding course curriculum

In an online course in animal breeding, learners can cover a wide range of topics related to the science and practice of breeding animals for various purposes, such as agriculture and livestock management. Key concepts and skills that could be covered in an online course include:

  • Animal genetics: Learn the principles of genetics as they apply to breeding, including inheritance patterns, DNA, and genetic variation.

  • Breeding objectives: Define the goals and objectives of animal breeding programs, such as improving specific traits or enhancing productivity.

  • Quantitative genetics: Explore the principles of quantitative genetics to assess and predict breeding values for various traits.

  • Selection methods: Learn how to select and breed animals based on desirable characteristics, including traits related to health, growth, and reproduction.

  • Breeding systems: Examine different breeding systems and strategies, including linebreeding, inbreeding, and outbreeding.

  • Reproductive technologies: Explore modern reproductive technologies, such as artificial insemination and embryo transfer.

Start building the knowledge you need with edX’s many different learning pathways. Enroll in accelerated boot camps on specialized topics or take advantage of executive education courses for busy professionals. You can also learn in comprehensive programs that allow you to earn a bachelor’s degree or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree. Find the right course that fits your needs and interests.

Why learn about animal breeding?

Individuals with a background in animal breeding can pursue a variety of careers in fields related to agriculture, genetics, animal husbandry, and more. Potential job opportunities for someone with expertise in animal breeding include:

  • Animal geneticist: Improves the genetic traits of animals, working to enhance qualities like disease resistance, growth rates, and overall productivity.

  • Livestock breeder: Selects and breeds animals with specific traits, such as meat quality, milk production, or wool texture, to enhance the genetic characteristics of livestock.

  • Agricultural consultant: Provides advice to farmers and agricultural businesses on breeding strategies, herd management, and sustainable farming practices.

  • Animal scientist: Studies various aspects of animal biology, genetics, and nutrition.

  • Biotechnologist: Uses advanced techniques like artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, and genetic engineering to improve animal genetics.

  • Livestock manager: Oversees the daily care and breeding of animals on farms, ensuring their health, welfare, and productivity.

The specific job opportunities will depend on your level of education, specialization, and personal interests within the field itself. If these jobs appeal to you, start learning today with online courses delivered by edX.

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