Genetic Factors: Cowboy Genetics
Lana Kaiser, DVM
Maine Anjou Voice
I was hoping for a heifer (okay, let’s face it, I am always hoping for a heifer, but this was different). When I bred the cow, I did not realize the bull was a tibial hemimeila (TH) carrier. Mid-gestation, the bull tested as a TH carrier so the calf now had a 50% chance of being a TH carrier. The way to clean up the genetic problems we currently face, as Gene McDonald from the American Shorthorn Association says, is to use clean bulls. So I tested the calf and he is a TH carrier and is now a steer. A carrier female can be managed or used as a recipient and, unless she is flushed extensively, she can be easily handled as a single individual. A carrier bull has the potential to impact a large percentage of your calf crop.