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Animal Genetic Resources Information Network
Livestock Research Institute, Council of Agriculture
112 Muchang, Hsinhua, Tainan, Taiwan 712 (R.O.C.)
|Resources||Genetic Resources Information of Native Livestock and Poultry Breeds in Taiwan|
Series: Animal Fire
|Locations||Locations of Conservation in Taiwan|
|Links||Link to Related Web Sites|
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Conservation and utilization of genetic resource of local breeds is one of research missions in animal sciences as part of continued agriculture. There are four major tasks in the establishment of animal germplasm conservations; collection, maintenance, evaluation, and utilization. Germplasm may be defined as the total genetic diversity of a species. Continued increases in animal production require improved varieties, and animal improvement is certainly dependent upon genetic diversity. Germplasm preservations maintain portions of this diversity to meet the needs of the animal breeders and producers, sometimes even to serve out society from a culture aspect.
The local breeds usually has a smaller body size, slower growth rate and less lean meat content but had one or more adapting characteristics to their living environment in the past, such as prolificacy of Taoyuan pig, heat tolerance of yellow cattle, disease-resistance of water buffalo, twinning of black goat, prolific laying ability of Tsaiya duck, roughage tolerance of Chinese goose, meat flavor of country chicken, and early maturity of miniature pig. They have lived on the same piece of earth with us for many years but they need to face the fate of elimination from the market-place due to less production values and interbred with other exotic varieties frequently. Taiwan Livestock Research Institute, included her animal propagation stations and research stations together with universities' Animal Science Department under financial support in part from the Council of Agriculture, Republic of China, have conducted the nation-wise project of animal germplasm conservation program to save these native animals since 1987.
Due to the limitation of raising facilities and finance support, cry preservation of semen and embryo from native breeds are essential to maintain the variance of genetic resources. Thus the freezing techniques for semen of yellow cattle, black goat, pigs, country chicken, Tsaiya ducks and Chinese geese were developed and applied currently in field test to check the survivability of thawed sperm. Embryos of yellow cattle, black goat and Taoyuan pig were frozen in the liquid nitrogen condition and had been examined their mortalities after thawing and transfer into surrogate mothers, Although the transfer of frozen embryo was not success in several trails, but with direct transfer of fresh embryos into surrogates several Lanyu miniature piglets and one black goat lamb were born alive in 1991.
Animal resources of Taiwan are bounteous and are preserving for the improvement of exotic breeds in term of production performance and efficiency. Conservation and integration of germplasm for new variants should be a major mission of governmental research institutes in order to utilize gene pool adequately.
We would like to acknowledge the scholarly efforts of our contributors, who have made the germplasm program stimulating and rewarding by providing timely collections and beautiful pictures. Our appreciation also go to the Animal Industry Department, Council of Agriculture (AID), and from 1987to 1998 Taiwan Provincial Government's Department of Agriculture and Forestry (DAF, combined into AID in 1999)for their supports.
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When you mention pigs. the first thing people will think of is Zhu Bajie, the pig character from the legendary novel Journey to the West Journey to the West written around the fourteenth or fifteenth century. This is the story of the misfortunes that beset the monk Tripitaka and his three travelling companions, the Monkey King, Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing, on their pilgrimage to India. According to the story. Zhu Bajie was an immortal in heaven in his former life who came to live among humankind as punishment for his drunken flirtations at a banquet. However, when he came to the world of men, he mistakenly selected the body of a pig to live in, and wound up in a human form with a pig's head. Subsequently, his allegiance was won by Tripitaka, who he accompanied on the quest to get scriptures from India. Along the way, Zhu Bajie's gluttony, love of sleep, and debauchery are the cause of various incidents. ....
There is a old legend about the origin of the cow, man's faithful agricultural helper. Back in the first days of the human race, seeing that people were at a loss as to how many meals and rests they should take each day, the gods in heaven sent a warrior down to the earth to order them to eat once and sleep three times each day. Before long, after observing human behavior, the Sky God was so upset that they were taking three meals per day that he ordered the gods of fire and water to descend to the world and destroy humankind. Angered, the Sky God said, "I told you to order them to eat once and sleep three times each day, but you altered my order on your own volition." With this, the Sky God kicked the warrior's teeth right out of his mouth. Seeing that the human race faced destruction for his error, the kind-hearted warrior begged the Sky God to let him die in their place. But the Sky God answered sadly, "Killing you cannot save the human race anyway, because they cannot grow enough crops to sustain them for three meals each day." The warrior then told the Sky God that he was willing to live among humans as an ox in order to help them till their fields and save them from starvation. And so the warrior became a hard-working ox on earth. Legend says that cows have no upper teeth because they were kicked out up in heaven by the Sky God. One day, after some time had passed, the Sky God saw that the warrior who had become an ox was a hearty worker, but he was always pestered by flies and mosquitoes and his body was full of sores. In a moment of compassion, the Sky God bestowed a pair of horns on the ox to fend off enemies, and a tail in back to swat mosquitoes and other pests. This is where cows came from. .......
Since ancient times, Chinese have always looked upon goat(sheep) with affection, and have regarded the animal as a symbol of good fortune. Therefore, when the written script for the word "goat(sheep)" was devised, a graphic representation of the animal's two antlers, four legs and tail, the same form was adopted in the character for "luck" or "good fortune." Needless to say, the Chinese affection for goat(sheep) goes beyond the fact that the ancient written characters for "goat(sheep)" and "luck" were physically similar. More significantly, it was felt that the gaot embodied certain virtues that surpassed even humans themselves. For example, when young lambs suckle milk from their mothers, they often do so from a kneeling position as if in filial gratitude. For this unique virtue, praise of goat(sheep) can be found in ancient poetry. Due to the kneeling posture of suckling lambs, Chinese regarded goat(sheep) as the most grateful of all the animals. and thus used lamb on the sacrificial altar in symbolic reference to their own sense of gratitude to heaven and earth. ......
Long time ago, a rooster lived in heaven as the sun's little brother. The rooster really wanted to be the big brother, but his martial arts skills were not as good as the sun's, so he decided to descend to earth to be king among the people. In order to be king, he would first need to attack and defeat some other animals. So he took his long beak and sharpened it on a rock with all his might in order to better deal with the enemy. He sharpened it until it was just one inch long, but he still felt it wasn't good enough. This is why we can still see roosters rubbing their beaks on the ground or on rocks. In order to handle enemies approaching from behind, the rooster attached two spurs to the back of his feet to jab attackers. In Taiwan, daughters would use one rooster and one hen -- or what were called "guide chickens" -- as dowries when going off to marry. After the bride arrived at the bridegroom's home, the two "guide chickens" were placed under the newlyweds' bed to see which one ran out first. If the rooster was first, it meant that the couple would have a boy. If the hen was first, they would have a girl. ......
Once upon a time. long ago. there lived a duck. She lived with her duckling YA.YA. in a nest at the top of a tree. Every day, she would go out looking for food to bring back for YA.YA. to eat. After their meal. the two would sing merrily together. In this way, they lived a happy and rich life. But one day when she was returning from her search for food. she was startled to see a great, fierce eagle carrying YA.YA. away. Tears of dismay rolled down her cheeks. and with no regard for her own safety. She set out in hot pursuit. But the eagle had long since disappeared into thin air. She began calling her duckling's name. "YA.YA.!. YA.YA.!" Tears streaming down her cheeks, she flew right through some dark rain clouds. The clouds blackened her wings. but she continued her search. Then she flew through a grove of trees. The branches of the trees cut her face. but she kept on searching. searching... Finally, utterly exhausted. she fell from the sky into a place where humans dwelled. The humans rescued her and treated the wounds on her face. They gave her food to eat and a perch to rest on. To thank the humans, she told them. "When you have no food to eat. you can make me your food. But now I cannot be of service to you. for I must find my duckling YA.YA." So, she made the human village her home. Because the humans fed her well. she grew fat and clumsy until she was unable to fly. But every day she continued calling out "YA.YA." .......
In the third century AD there lived a great Chinese calligrapher called Wang Xizhi. Besides the diligent study of Chinese characters. Wang Xizhi also had a hobby -- raising geese. He believed that goose raising didn't just develop refinement in a person's tastes. he felt that from the physical form of geese he could gain an insight into the secrets of motion and technique in calligraphy. The great calligrapher Wang Xizhi's obsession with geese can be seen in the stories related below: Having been appointed a local official, Wang Xizhi used his leisure time to poke around a famous local historical landmark. Early one morning, he took a boat to view the mountain scenery. Suddenly he noticed a gaggle of geese scooting along the bank, some flapping their wings and scampering, others stretching their necks and crying out. Wang Xizhi was taken by the scene. Two geese in particular stood out from the others by virtue of their coloring and calls. Captivated, Wang wished to buy them and bring them home. so he went to ask their owner about them. The owner of the geese knew this was the legendary calligrapher. and wanted him to make a copy of a Buddhist Sutra for him. Wang Xizhi was greatly covetous of the geese and happily agreed to the owner's request, writing out a copy of the sutra. This is the familiar tale known as "Wang Xizhi Turns Words Into Geese." .....
The videos are free for educational institutes/organizations and schools. Please write your request with your mailing address to Department of Animal Breeding, Taiwan Livestock Research Institute, 112 Farm Road, Hsinhua 71210, Tainan, TAIWAN, ROC.