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).
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.