Genetic Conditions


Monitoring Genetic Defects at ASA
American Simmental Association
The American Simmental Association genetic defect monitoring system and information on genetic tests currently available.

Monitoring Abnormalities Online
American Simmental Association
Charles Darwin observed that changes continuously occur in populations and that these changes are critical to the success of the species. The changes Darwin noted were caused by genetic mutations, i.e., a change in the genetic code from what previously existed. Though Darwin was focused on the advantageous changes brought about by mutations, we now know that the majority of mutations in nature are not advantageous. In fact, they tend to hinder (be deleterious to) a population’s success — and a few of the mutations are quite harmful (e.g., dwarfism) or even lethal (e.g., hydrocephalus).

Reporting Abnormalities
During the calving season, it is not unusual to hear about unusual calves born with a variety of defects.  Many of these defects are spontaneous events that are triggered by a variety of cues and are not necessarily genetic in nature.  However, reporting these abnormalities to the ASA or other breed associations is vital to our ability to detect new genetic conditions.  If you suspect you have an unusual calf, please let the ASA know right away.  If the calf is stillborn, it is beneficial to report these cases immediately should we need access to tissue or DNA.  



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Bad News: They're All Carriers of Something - Broken Genes in the Beef Business
Dorian Garrick, Ph. D.
Iowa State University
This paper was presented at the 2013 BIF conference in Oklahoma City. The article describes the reality that all animals carry defective genes.

Genetic Defects in Beef Cattle
Matt Spangler, Ph. D. Douglas Anderson
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
This article (2011) from Matt Spangler and Doug Anderson from UNL describes some of the most common simple recessive genetic defects in beef cattle and how to manage your herd to avoid problems with these defects.

Collaborative extension group focused on Animal Breeding in beef cattle.

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Have You Herd? Blog

TReg Blog

  • Belief in His Breed

    TREG Feb 17, 2017 | 09:12 am

    Belief in His Breed South Dakota Simmental producer begins role on board of national group. By: Janelle Atyeo, Tri-State Neighbor The barn on the Eichacker farm near Salem, S.D., gets plenty of use. This time of year, it’s a cozy place for newborn Simmental and[…]

  • Parker Cattle Company: Success in the Details

    TREG Jan 11, 2017 | 09:18 am

    Parker Cattle Company: Success in the Details By Lilly Brogger A family-run Colorado Simmental operation achieves quick progress through carefully made genetic decisions and a focus on quality over quantity. Seven years typically isn’t enough time to build a respected seedstock operation. It takes 18 months to[…]


Profit Through Data

Science Blog

  • Multi-breed Stayability EPDs: Here’s what you need to know

    Feb 2, 2017 | 14:30 pm

    Multi-breed Stayability EPDs: Here’s what you need to know 1.) Multi-breed stayability: The new stayability EPD is calculated for all cattle in the database (not just for purebred and fullblood Simmental).  As stayability is a very important economically relevant trait for female production, the ability to have stayability calculations[…]

  • ASA releases the first evaluation with BOLT and Single Step genomic enhanced EPDs!

    Dec 28, 2016 | 12:06 pm

    ASA releases the first evaluation with BOLT and Single Step genomic enhanced EPDs! The Spring 2017 EPDs were released on 12/22/16 including a Multi-breed Stayability prediction using BOLT and single step genomic evalution (evaluating the genomics, pedigree, and phenotype information in one process rather than blending in the genomics later).  This marks the[…]

  • Montana State University Steer-A-Yeer Program

    Oct 24, 2016 | 15:51 pm

    Montana State University Steer-A-Yeer Program BOZEMAN — Montana State University’s College of Agriculture is seeking donations of steers for its Steer-A-Year program, which allows students to continue their hands-on learning of the beef industry. Donated steers provide students with applied learning experiences in courses such[…]

  • Fall Focus 2016: Teaming Technology with Tradition

    Sep 6, 2016 | 12:29 pm

    Fall Focus 2016: Teaming Technology with Tradition Fall Focus 2016 brought together roughly 175 in Bozeman to discuss ways to enhance the tradition of seedstock operations with today's science and technology.Thank you to all who attended this event.Thank you for being engaged in the discussion of improving[…]

  • Red Charlie Test Now Publicly Available

    Jun 23, 2016 | 14:05 pm

    Red Charlie Test Now Publicly Available GeneSeek launched the new red coat variant test, called Red Charlie.  Breeders interested in coat color testing on a red charlie suspect animal  need to order both the regular coat color test and the red charlie test to have a[…]

  • Red Charlie: A Newly Discovered Red Coat Color Variant

    May 13, 2016 | 09:24 am

    Red Charlie: A Newly Discovered Red Coat Color Variant In the spring of 2015, the American Simmental Association had a report of a red calf confirmed to a tested homozygous black bull.  While learning about this case, several sons of Remington Lock N Load, 2503661, appeared to carry a red coat color[…]