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Old 07-30-2012, 12:05 AM   #1 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
Questions about culling.

I've just been thinking about culling, why it's done and how it's done. We've had a lot of discussions about how different breeders do it, one thread pretty recently. I'm hoping Basement Bettas and Karen MacAuley will comment on this as well as the rest of you guys. I understand culling is necessary if fry are severely deformed, like bent spines or some other deformity that would cause them to suffer or have a poor quality of life. But what if a breeder is looking for a certain trait or finnnage or whatever and some of the fry don't have what the breeder wants. Or what if they have some fault that would prevent them from being a good breeder or from being shown. Or what if some just have wonky fins and wouldn't show well ? I guess what I'm saying is what if there is nothing wrong with them other than not being show or breeding material? Can't they just be given to good homes with someone who just wants a nice pet? Just some food for thought here.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:15 AM   #2 
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Some breeders are super stingy and will end a perfectly healthy bettas life just because they're not perfect. My solution = don't breed them. If you don't want their blood then give them to a pet home.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:18 AM   #3 
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I agree, Dom. I'd rather that they be given a chance to be placed in a home with someone who won't breed them than be culled.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:25 AM   #4 
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Maybe the breeder will only see perfect fish so they that boosts their ego? If most of the fish have bad form or color and that is all you see it might lower your ego... But I believe that a healthy fish should be given a chance.

Also if they try to sell it, people may judge them and believe they sell lowquality fish?
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:29 AM   #5 
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Can't breeders sell the "imperfect" ones like for half price or do an adopt a cull thing ?
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:23 AM   #6 
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I can see why breeders cull imperfect fish. Really, what you put out there and sell is a gauge as to the quality of your stock. There are some who feel it is a bad reflection on them and their breeding program to sell off low quality stock or 'culls', even as pets.

Some people simply have more stringent standards than others. It doesn't make them anymore right or wrong than those who choose not to cull any of their fish. As long as it is done humanely I have no issue with breeders choosing to cull stock they feel does not make the grade.

Ever since we first domesticated animals and started selectively breeding them, culling has never just been about removing those unhealthy individuals from the gene pool. Perfectly healthy animals that have just not fit the standard or have undesirable traits have also been culled.

While it seems cruel or unethical to some, honestly they are only fish. I have no issue with culling fish at any stage of life, as long as it is done as quickly and humanely as possible as I mentioned before.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:41 AM   #7 
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Maybe this sounds silly but if a respectable breeder does not want their name related to the cull could there be an anonymous adopt a cull? Or do they deal with so many fry that it is just a hassle and want to do it fast?
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:54 AM   #8 
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And then there is fish food for 300 + fry that you don't want and could not sell..... not counting the water changes and upkeep....

Someone who is strictly breeding for show would not do that much work or spend that much on give away fish.... It seems cold, but that's just the way it is.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:01 AM   #9 
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And what method do breeders use to cull fish?
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:42 AM   #10 
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I *personally feel* culling in the true sense for anything but deformities is not something I could ever do. Saying "it's just fish" does not mean they do not have their little lives and don't care if they live. I'd rather do everything in my power to find FREE homes, and I'd respect myself more for it.

I want to do shows, have top quality fish, and I will. I'll be strapped for time and desperate to save every second, But - I ALSO feel responsible for any life I cause to exist - taking that away if it doesn't fit my exceptionally detailed breeding plan doesn't mean I feel I have the right to take away their life, weather it's in a "humane way" or not - I don't feel taking the life of a healthy animal is humane. Period.

I'd put them on Aquabid or elsewhere, craigslist, Ebay, start the bid at a dollar and label them as PET quality. I'd rather be honest in breeding as it will probably make my highest quality fish go for a bundle as customers would know what they're getting. Someone who sells "only their best" well, I bet people not looking to breed and only want beautiful pets want nothing to do with them and that slightly too narrow caudel fin culled would have been their dream, but instead they go to a pet store, give them their money for an even lesser quality, fin rotted, mill fish and meanwhile a beautiful little life was ended.

If it came to it, why not GIVE them to a LFS anonymously? Maybe it could help stop some betta mills of inbred veil tails?

It is just my personal take on it, though.
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