Article ID: CBB209693099

‘De meest efficiënte kip ter wereld’. De Nederlandse legkippenfokkerij in de twintigste eeuw (2017)


"'The most efficient chicken in the world’. Breeding for eggs in the Netherlands in the twentieth century" This paper analyses the development of chicken breeding for eggs in the Netherlands in the twentieth century. The Dutch poultry sector was of only marginal significance early in the century, yet after the Second World War it developed into the most industrialised segment of animal husbandry. The introduction of scientific breeding methods played a central role in this, as well as the increasing dominance of specialised commercial breeding companies.While scientists and agricultural engineers developed several innovative approaches to breeding that helped increase egg production significantly, we argue that the methods on which these approaches were based – inbreeding, hybridising, selection and progeny testing – had been used by animal breeders since the eighteenth century. Scientists succeeded in increasing the efficiency of these methods by introducing the quantitative and statistical instruments of quantitative genetics; the new Mendelian theory was of little practical use in this respect. Hybrid breeding methods were also shaped by the commercial interests of breeding companies.In the Netherlands the rise of the poultry industry was slowed down for several decades by the government’s policy to protect the interest of smallholders, yet after the establishment of the EEC this protectionism was dispensed with. As an example of the role of commercial companies we discuss the early history of Hendrix Genetics, a Dutch-based breeding company that is now one of the two multinational enterprises that dominate the breeding market for egg-laying chicken worldwide.

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Article Jesper Oldenburger; Bert Theunissen; (2015)
Alexander Numan (1780-1852) en de veredeling van de Nederlandse schapenrassen (/isis/citation/CBB753358784/) unapi

Article Calvert, Scout; (2013)
Certified Angus, Certified Patriot: Breeding, Bodies, and Pedigree Practices (/isis/citation/CBB001320575/) unapi

Article Reitz, Elizabeth J.; Zierden, Martha A.; (2014)
Wildlife in Urban Charleston, South Carolina, USA (/isis/citation/CBB001450105/) unapi

Book Franklin, Sarah; (2013)
Biological Relatives: IVF, Stem Cells, and the Future of Kinship (/isis/citation/CBB001422164/) unapi

Book Rebecca J. H. Woods; (2017)
The Herds Shot Round the World: Native Breeds and the British Empire, 1800-1900 (/isis/citation/CBB281778458/) unapi

Article García-Sancho, Miguel; (2015)
Animal Breeding in the Age of Biotechnology: The Investigative Pathway behind the Cloning of Dolly the Sheep (/isis/citation/CBB001510361/) unapi

Article Gabriel N Rosenberg; (2020)
No Scrubs: Livestock Breeding, Eugenics, and the State in the Early Twentieth-Century United States (/isis/citation/CBB623496500/) unapi

Article Birkhead, T. R.; Balen, S. van; (2008)
Bird-Keeping and the Development of Ornithological Science (/isis/citation/CBB000931220/) unapi

Article Theunissen, Bert; (2008)
Breeding without Mendelism: Theory and Practice of Dairy Cattle Breeding in the Netherlands, 1900--1950 (/isis/citation/CBB000850681/) unapi

Article Châtelain, Bertrand; (2011)
De l'onocentaure. Étude de mythologie comparée (/isis/citation/CBB001201448/) unapi

Book Brown, Karen; Gilfoyle, Daniel; (2010)
Healing the Herds: Disease, Livestock Economies, and the Globilization of Veterinary Medicine (/isis/citation/CBB001022976/) unapi

Book Marsha L. Weisiger; (2009)
Dreaming of Sheep in Navajo Country (/isis/citation/CBB805061553/) unapi

Article Freschet, Grégoire T.; östlund, Lars; Kichenin, Emilie; Wardle, David A.; (2014)
Aboveground and Belowground Legacies of Native Sami Land Use on Boreal Forest in Northern Sweden 100 Years after Abandonment (/isis/citation/CBB001421440/) unapi

Book Claas Kirchhelle; (2021)
Bearing Witness: Ruth Harrison and British Farm Animal Welfare (1920–2000) (/isis/citation/CBB221498231/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
Theunissen, Bert
Vigne, Jean-Denis
Tresset, Anne
Kunst, G. K.
Balen, S. van
Birkhead, T. R.
Studium: Tijdschrift voor Wetenschaps- en Universiteitgeschiedenis
Journal of the History of Biology
Archives of Natural History
Ziran Kexueshi Yanjiu (Studies in the History of Natural Sciences)
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Ohio University Press
Duke University Press
Yale University
Palgrave Macmillan
University of North Carolina Press
University of Wisconsin Press
Animal husbandry
Harrison, Ruth
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
20th century, early
18th century
20th century, late
United States
Great Britain
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (United States)
United States. Dept. of Agriculture

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment