Artificial selection for traits of economic importance in poultry has resulted in considerable genetic change. As in all animal systems, however, the force of natural selection balances the changes produced by artificial selection. This balancing is a direct function of allocation of resources available to an individual at any particular time, divided among maintenance, growth, reproduction, disease resistance and other demands. Success or failure of artificial selection generally depends on the criterion of selection and its rate of change. In some cases, human intervention or the ability of the animal to adapt to changes have allowed successful progress. In other instances, limits to selection have been reached, beyond which genetic response cannot be obtained. Recent developments of molecular techniques that may enhance artificial selection and speed genetic change suggest that much greater progress might be possible in altering poultry to suit the needs and desires of humankind. Past progress and problems concerning the balance of natural and artificial selection, however, must be considered seriously in evaluating the methods and rates of change possible with new techniques

E. A Dunnington

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume XVI. Poultry, fish and horse genetics and breeding, growth and reproduction, immune response and disease resistance., , 5–12, 1990
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