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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   5 February 1874

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Feb 5 1874

My dear Sir

If you yourself (or through any of the gentlemen connected with the Field)1 know any large breeder of greyhounds, you would confer a great favour on me, by asking the following question, & sending me the answer.

I could answer the question myself with respect to some breeds, but I am anxious for information from some one on whom I can wholly rely.

The question is:

Do great breeders of greyhounds rear more male than female puppies; that is, do they destroy more of the females than of the males? But what I particularly want to know is, supposing one bitch produced 4 males & 2 females, & another produced 4 females & 2 males, how many of each sex in each litter would, as a general sort of rule, be preserved?2

No doubt any large breeder wd know what was the common practice of most other breeders.

If you can aid me, pray do so & believe me | yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


Tegetmeier was pigeon and poultry editor of the Field newspaper (ODNB).
See also letter to William Waring, 6 January 1874, and letter from George Cupples, 3 February 1874 and n. 5. CD was working on the second edition of Descent (‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).


Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.


Do breeders rear more male than female greyhound puppies?

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Sent from
Source of text
Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9266,” accessed on 7 July 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22