Animal Breeders

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Also known as:
Animal Breeder, Cat Breeder, Dairy Husbandry Worker, Dog Breeder, Equine Breeder, Horse Breeder, Livestock Breeder, Poultry Inseminator, Stallion Manager

Video transcript

From milk-producing cows to prize-winning cats, it often takes more than just Mother Nature to create an animal with superior qualities. Animal breeders use their knowledge of genetics and animal science to produce animals with specifically desired traits.

Man has been selectively raising animals for thousands of years. But what was originally done by trial and error is now governed by precise scientific principles. Breeders learn how to select and mate the animals that will produce the best offspring.

Large animals like horses and cattle are usually bred through artificial insemination. Breeders maintain detailed records, keeping track of health, size, weight, as well as other relevant characteristics.

Much of the job requires being outdoors around animals. But breeders also spend time in laboratories and offices. Many breeders work for farmers or as independent consultants. Or they may raise animals such as dogs and cats, to sell as pets or show animals. In all cases, they need to know how to feed and care for their animals.

The job has its hazards. Some animals may bite and kick while others may accidently step on you. Although a college degree is not required, many breeders study animal science at a four-year college or university. From farm livestock to many of our favorite pets, we all benefit from the knowledge and skill of animal breeders.

Select and breed animals according to their genealogy, characteristics, and offspring. May require knowledge of artificial insemination techniques and equipment use. May involve keeping records on heats, birth intervals, or pedigree.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
Physical demands
Daily tasks

Build hutches, pens, and fenced yards.

Brand, tattoo, or tag animals to allow animal identification.

Select animals to be bred, and semen specimens to be used, according to knowledge of animals, genealogies, traits, and desired offspring characteristics.

Observe animals in heat to detect approach of estrus and exercise animals to induce or hasten estrus, if necessary.

Feed and water animals, and clean and disinfect pens, cages, yards, and hutches.

Examine animals to detect symptoms of illness or injury.

Purchase and stock supplies of feed and medicines.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.