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Old 02-22-2005, 01:57 PM   #1
Breeding principles

As a hobbyist who's interested in doing some small-scale breeding, I'm wondering what the general consensus is with "backyard breeding." Horses are what I'm familiar with, and certain breeds are forbidden to outcross with other breeds. A lot of "backyard breeders" do this anyway, and the result is an unregisterable animal, and purists freak out about the integrity of the breed.

With all these new color morphs and fancy lines, is it better for the future of the Leopard Gecko genetics to breed like to like in terms of developed lines - or is it okay and acceptable to buy lizards here and there in terms of what catches the breeders' eye, and just start producing? I mean, I realize that there has to be experimentation and breeding to develop new lines - but as a small home breeder with no aspirations like that - would it be better for me to breed geckos from established and documented lines, and stay within those lines, rather than breeding lizards of unknown ancestry and throwing more mud (should I ever sucessfully sell anybody down the line) into the gene pool?

Is there value (in terms of breeding) to the lineage of the geckos, or is it all phenotype and if the breeding continues, the genotype will establish itself?
Old 02-22-2005, 02:15 PM   #2
I don't really know if that would be something that people want to do. It is a lot different with horses where people are paying $100,000 or more for a pure bred then people buying a $100 leopard gecko. I think that crossing and re-crossing genetics is how we are going to develope new morphs. Think of it this way. We have hundreds of different breeds of dogs. But many of the dogs we know as pure bred now-a-days is a result of crossing several "pure breds" from those times. I understand where you are coming from but I don't think it is something people are willing to do nor do I think that it would be beneficial to the buisness. People are looking for something new and interesting not neccissarily something that is line bred.

On the other hand I do agree with you on keeping some form of the basic genetics true. Like albinos for example. If all we have in several years are blazzing blizzards or something like that getting an albino once again would be just as hard as getting the blazzing blizzard in the first place. Hope I made some kind of a point and did not just confuse you. Let me know what you think. One more thing. Think about how it is very hard these days to find a wild caught or completly "normal" leopard gecko. So maybe you are on to something with keeping some form of the original genetics true.

Old 02-22-2005, 04:46 PM   #3
I say have fun with it! If you want to see what would happen when this males and this female go together, just hatch the egg out and find out! As far as lineage it seems that if you can claim certain bloodlines they go faster and for more, but I think thats dumb. I've seen small breeders with as nice of stuff as them for less money, so go with the little guy!
Old 02-22-2005, 05:02 PM   #4
I personally think its best to outcross as much as possible...keep the animals healthy. If you want new morphs to pop up you need to inbreed the crap out of Tremper...not outcross (although occasionally new things can pop up with outcrossing...they are much more likely to appear with extreme inbreeding). Continuous outcrossing will help to prevent the genetic diseases and problems that essentially all domesticated breeds of any species have.
Old 02-22-2005, 05:05 PM   #5
Thanks much for the replies! That makes perfect sense. I appreciate your time in answering a pretty odd question.
Old 02-22-2005, 05:17 PM   #6
I agree that it is important to keep the animals genetics healthy. I talked to Ron Tremper at this years Daytona show and he told me that he doesn't really bring in any new "blood" like Christina said. I also asked him about if there are any genetic problems with that he told me that it has taken 15generations to see any ill genetic effects (minor like shorter tails etc.). I am thinking if you start with a diverse, healthy genetic line and with periodic additions off a new animal it should be enough to keep your colony genetically healthy. This is just what I think and many other people have different views when it comes to this.

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