Managing Genetic Defects in Beef Cattle

Managing Genetic Defects in Beef Cattle

Dr. Bob Weaber, MU Beef Extension GeneticsSpecialist

Dr. Rick Rasby, Professor of Animal Science, Animal Science, University of Nebraska

Over the last five years the beef seedstock sector has had to deal with a number of recessive genetic defects. The utilization of embryo transfer and AI has allowed breeders to concentrate selection to a small number of animals. While many breeders avoid mating half-sibs or sires to daughters to reduce inbreeding, it is not unusual for prominent sires to appear several generations back in pedigrees of both the sire and dam. It is in this case when there is an increased chance for the progeny to be affected by a recessive genetic defect.

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