Art and Science in Breeding: Creating Better Chickens
Chickens are now the most scientifically engineered of livestock. How have the methods used by geneticists differed from those employed by domestic breeders over time? Art and Science in Breeding details the relationship between farm practices and agricultural genetics in poultry breeding from 1850 to 1960.
Margaret E. Derry traces the history and organization of chicken breeding in North America, from craft approaches and breeding as an ‘art,’ to the conflicts that had emerged between traditional and scientific methods by the 1940s. Derry assesses links between the 'scientific' revolution of chicken farming and the development of corporate breeding as a modern, international industry. Using poultry as a case study for the wider narrative of agricultural genetics, Art and Science in Breeding adds considerable knowledge to a rapidly growing field of inquiry.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 228 pages
- Illustrations: 20
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.0in x 9.3in
Choice Magazine; vol 50:01:2012
‘Derry succeeds in constructing a history of chicken breeding that is original, entertaining, and informative.’
The British Journal for the History of Science vol 45:04:2012
‘While Derry’s work is enlightening for historians of science, especially historians of genetics, the value of her work also extends into the broader history of commercial enterprises and agribusiness throughout North America.’
Kathy J. Cooke
Canadian Historical Review vol 94:4:2013
Author InformationMargaret E. Derry is an adjunct professor in the Department of History at the University of Guelph.
Table of contentsAcknowledgements.
1. Historical Background: Chickens, Those Lowly Creatures.
2. From Barnyard Scavenger on to Bird of Beauty and Use.
3. The Development of Agricultural Genetics in Relation to North American Chicken Breeding.
4. Breeding for Eggs: Conflict between Science and Craft.
5. The "Scientizing" of Breeding in the Egg Industry.
6. North American Chicken Breeding and the Rise of the Broiler Industry.
7. Epilogue: Global Trends in Chicken Breeding after 1950.
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