Many of our rare and native breeds can be used in cross breeding programmes.
A terminal sire is a male used to produce offspring for meat. A number of our breeds can be used as terminal sires, for example Oxford Down sheep. Alternatively, a non native breed can be used as a terminal sire on a rare or native breed female to produce more commercial offspring for meat production.
Due to a principle known as hybrid vigour the first generation (or F1) cross between two different breeds is usually particularly productive. One particularly well known F1 cross is the BlueGrey, a cross between Galloway and Whitebred Shorthorn cattle.
Cross breeding can be a good way to make rare and native breeds more commercial in a modern farming system. However it is important that this does not damage the pedigree registered population. The distinct breeds need to be maintained to keep the genetic pools intact.