|Requires||Improved Animal Husbandry|
Crossbreeding animals to produce hybrids by applying the scientific method increases their desirable and profitable characteristics.
The simple ideas are often the most effective: by separating a farm's herds by sex, animals cannot breed as nature intended and the inclination takes them. The farmer can select the male animal used to impregnate his flock or herd, and choose the good characteristics he wants the next generation to inherit! By repeatedly selecting the "father of the flock" for his good and profitable qualities, the worth of the whole flock increases over each generation.
Robert Bakebell (1725-1795) was the first to try this simple scheme at his farm in Leicestershire, England. His new breed Dishley Longhorn cattle and English Leicester sheep were only popular during his lifetime, but the pattern had been set. New crossbreeds replaced them, and the size and yields of farm animals increased dramatically. Perhaps a touch ironically, the modern trend is to preserve ancient farming bloodstock types, in the hope that they may have benefits for today's farmers.