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« on: October 03, 2013, 07:14:36 PM »
Good evening all - looking for semen on this ancient Angus bull (1962 model) CAMILLA CHANCE 37T  5475692 for research purposes - if you have some you are willing to part with or can give me a lead please contact me - research never stops - always need samples - thanks in advance

The Big Show / Developmental duplication - NEED MORE SAMPLES PLEASE
« on: September 02, 2013, 12:34:27 PM »
Good Labor Day all-

You may remember the notomelia (polymelia) description from earlier. The mutation has been identified and commercial tests are becoming available. Originally it was felt that a large number of homozygous embryos/feti were aborted in the first 2 trimesters because the number of animals with polymelia was less than expected given the number of carrier animals. While this still may be true there is another twist.

Angus Australia (http://www.angusaustralia.com.au/component/content/article/8-front-page-news/1330-update-developmental-duplication-29.html) reports that there have been some NORMAL (phenotypically normal) cattle that are homozygous for the DD mutation.

So of the 5459 animals that have been genotyped, 37 are HOMOZYGOUS BUT NORMAL. This is unexpected and there are an excess of heterozygotes and deficiency of homozygotes - mathematically there should be (one would expect) 73 homozygotes.

What this means is that in this disorder there is incomplete penetrance. There are lots of potential explanations of incomplete penetrance. Dr B and BR are trying to find out why but in order to do that we NEED MORE SAMPLES -  more polymelia samples and samples from other animals that have external features of duplication such as the conjoined twins and animals with extra things like skin flaps, etc..

Apparently there have been some number (8 to 10) of calves with polymelia "reported" recently but NO samples - step up to the plate - with fall calving around the corner keep your eyes open for extra legs and extra stuff - we need samples

Ideal samples are purple top tube of blood for calves that are alive and ear notch for those that are not, pictures are good too - DO NOT BE AN OSTRICH - help us figure out why/how/etc there is such a wide variation in the phenotypic expression of this disorder

As always your cooperation is greatly appreciated   ;)

The Big Show / Polymelia in Angus cattle
« on: August 12, 2013, 07:04:45 PM »
Some of you may remember the call for samples from calves born with polymelia (extra legs) - Dr Beever has identified the mutation - you can down load this article and the list of carriers from the AAA web site and it it below- athe very interesting thing is the association with early embryonic death. The list of preliminary test results exceeds the maximum number of characters to post so if you are interested see the AAA web site

L I K E L Y  P R E S E N C E  O F G E N E TI C CONDI T I O N I N  A  L I N E  O F  A N G U S  C A T T L E
By Jonathan E. Beever, Ph.D.
This document provides information to the American Angus Association of a genetic condition
that will most likely need to be addressed within the US Angus population. In May 2011, I was asked by Angus Australia to begin investigating a phenotype that was being described as polymelia. The majority of calves exhibiting this trait are born with additional limbs, usually duplication of the front legs and originating from the neck or shoulder region. With the exception of mortality associated with calving difficulty, these calves can often thrive, particularly if the extra limbs are surgically removed.

Initially, we were presented with three DNA samples from affected calves as well as several of
their parents. Even though pedigree analysis of the calves clearly showed evidence of line breeding, the molecular analysis revealed nothing that would have lead us to believe that the condition was genetic. Throughout 2011 and 2012, Angus Australia continued to receive reports of polymelia calves and again in early 2013 was able to provide us with additional DNA samples for analysis (see http://www.flockandherd.net.au/cattle/reader/polymelia.html). The addition of these animals provided clear evidence of simple recessive inheritance. Following this analysis, four calves displaying the same morphological features were reported here in the US. Samples from these calves were collected and the analysis once again demonstrated that all of the affected calves, both Australian and US, shared a common region of homozygosity thus confirming the presence of a recessive allele responsible for the phenotype. Furthermore, we have since received additional Australian calves from both Angus Australia and Dr. Laurie Denholm that further substantiate our previous conclusions.

Most recently, we have completed sequencing of genes within the region that is shared by all
affected calves. Last week we identified a mutation that appeared to be consistent with the recessive pattern of inheritance in all affected calves and their parents. In addition, functional analysis of the mutation suggests that the resulting change in the encoded protein would not be tolerated.

Subsequently, we initiated a population analysis to determine the frequency of the mutation within the breed. As was the case with genetic conditions such as AM, NH, CA, and M1, the animals that best represent the genetics of the breed are the diverse population of AI sires that have been used over the past 20 years.

Examination of the genotyping data for these sires (which is currently being completed) reveals two important concerns. Firstly, the allele frequency among US sires is moderately high at approximately 3%; this corresponds to a carrier frequency of approximately 6%. Secondly, it shows that no homozygous individuals are present in the population. Of course, one would not expect a calf born with five or six legs to become an AI sire; however given the moderate allele frequency, the rarity of affected calves, particularly as reported in the US, is somewhat puzzling. Additionally, given the use of specific US sires within Australia, now known to be carriers, the frequency of reported calves is also unexpectedly low. Thus, we believe these data indicate that calves presenting with polymelia at birth are rare events that survive embryonic death. In support of this conclusion, we have also genotyped a case of conjoined twins that were submitted by Dr. Denholm as part of this project.

Indeed, these conjoined twins are also homozygous for the same mutation. We hypothesize that early developmental duplication events prevent many embryos from developing to term resulting in embryonic death and the reduced frequency of live births that are being observed. From a nomenclature standpoint it has been decided to refer to this condition as developmental duplications (DD).

The Big Show / Pacelle files paper work to be on Tyson Foods BOD
« on: October 04, 2012, 11:35:05 AM »

Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) President and CEO Wayne Pacelle has filed paperwork for election to Tyson Foods board of directors, according to an HSUS announcement.

If elected, Pacelle would urge the company to commit to a definite time frame to phase out the use of sow gestation crates. According to HSUS, billionaire investor Carl Icahn has agreed to serve as an advisor in Pacelles effort to join the board.

It is imperative that a voice on Tysons board speak for the companys many customers, partners, and investors who are demanding the end of gestation crates and more humane treatment of animals, Pacelle said

In a statement provided by Tyson Foods, the company said it will handle the Pacelle nomination in accordance with company policy. Were not surprised Wayne Pacelle wants to sit on our board, said Gary Mickelson, Tyson director of public relations. Were handling the nomination according to the law and our companys by-laws. Tyson Foods is committed to humane animal treatment and expects the same from the independent family farmers who supply us with chickens, hogs and cattle.

I firmly believe that the position of HSUS regarding gestation crates is the right one. Icahn said. When Wayne Pacelle reached out to me as a long-time supporter of the Humane Society to advise HSUS on the possibility of seeking a board position at Tyson, I told Wayne that given the existence of A/B (low vote/high vote) stock at Tyson, it would be extremely difficult to elect him as a director through a proxy fight,


The Big Show / HALLELUJAH! Wisc opens doors to MI cattle
« on: August 06, 2012, 02:12:43 PM »
Wisconsin Opens Borders to Michigan Cattle Signaling Additional Market for States Producers

LANSING Today, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Jamie Clover Adams announced that Wisconsin will recognize Michigans recent bovine Tuberculosis (TB) Split State Status achievement from the United States Department of Agriculture, which reopens market opportunities for Michigans 17,000 cattle farmers.

Our mandatory electronic identification is, and was, critical to Wisconsins decision to amend their importation rules, said MDARD Director Jamie Clover Adams.  For the first time since we began our bovine TB eradication efforts, Wisconsin acknowledges the difference in zones. This translates into more market opportunities to sell Michigan beef and continues to grow the economic footprint for our food and agriculture system.

On August 1, 2012, the State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection informed MDARDs State Veterinarian Dr. Steven L. Halstead of new importation rules acknowledging Michigan's split state status.  Wisconsin now recognizes two bovine TB Zones in the State of Michigan.

This is an important step forward, said Dr. Halstead. Michigan has worked very hard to preserve the value of its cattle herd and to protect trade partners from bovine TB.  This represents recognition of this hard work.

Bovine from the Modified Accredited Zone (MAZ) and the Modified Accredited Advanced Zone (MAAZ) fall under the same zonal rules for Wisconsin and may enter Wisconsin for exhibition as long as they follow all of the rules established by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.

Wisconsin will not allow bison or cattle from Michigans federal TB MAZ (Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Oscoda counties) or MAAZ (Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Crawford, Emmet, Montmorency, Otsego, and Presque Isle counties) to be sold at a consignment sale or auction, but they may go to approved feedlots if they meet the testing requirements.

Feeder cattle from Michigans TB-Free Zone will need a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection with complete physical destination address required, must have official identification, and may enter the State of Wisconsin as long as they are not involved in any TB-positive or exposed herd investigations. 

The Big Show / Herefordfootball
« on: March 30, 2012, 09:46:05 PM »
Michigan Beef Expo always makes me think of Herefordfootball  - hope you have a fabulous show string Chris - we miss you

Two days ago I went to check on a cow in labor and found a dead heifer calf - my immediate response was "bovine guilt" HOWEVER! as I opened the calves mouth I realized that she had a CLEFT PALATE but no other obvious abnormalities. Necropsy of the calf revealed HYDROCEPHALUS

Now I went back through my notes and discovered other breeders in other states has Shorthorn heifer calves with cleft palate and hydrocephalus - I believe we have 5 or 6 samples from affected calves as well as sire and dam - if you have a Shorthorn calf that is born dead check the mouth before you throw it into the dead pile - if it has a cleft palate get a full necropsy and save samples.

The first picture is the cleft palate - if you feel the roof of the mouth you notice that it is not smooth and continuous like it should be. The 2nd picture is the head of a calf with hydrocephalus - this hydrocephalus is obvious grossly (ie the head is misshapen) and the 3rd picture is a cross section of the head of a calf with cleft palate and hydrocephalus - you can see that inside the skull there is a big empty space and the brain is pushed down toward the neck because of the pressure from the extra fluid

The Big Show / AHL Kodiak
« on: February 25, 2012, 07:45:56 PM »
Anybody know anything about this bull? He is listed on the ASA web site as CM39022 but without a pedigree and as 0% Shorthorn. I don't find him by either name, prefix, or number on either the AMAA or ACA web site....thanks

The Big Show / Perth sale - very interesting read
« on: January 29, 2012, 12:35:12 PM »
The catalog of the upcoming Perth Aberdeen Angus and Shorthorn bull sale is now online at


The Big Show / OH Breeder - you asked about the twins ...
« on: January 18, 2012, 07:36:57 PM »
OB - you asked about the heifer twins sired by Blizzard out of the Gizmo cow - well, she did a darn good job with them. Here is "Yes She's Violet" - picture taken ins Sept - hope to get a new one this weekend as she is going to our Expo. Will be keeping her sister (Yellow Violet -genetic greed LOL) - these are my first purebred Shorties (yes they have an *) - I am pretty pleased with them :)

Go the the ASA web page
under  News and updates...

Reporting Abnormal Calves.
click here

Click there and you will see this

NOTICE: Reporting Abnormal Calves - Digital Sublazation (DS)

-Reporting Abnormal Calves

click on Reporting abnormal calves and you will down load a pdf describing the issue we have been talking about and pictures

BTW I think they meant subluxation not sublazation

The Big Show / Protocol for submitting samples - reposted
« on: December 29, 2011, 07:18:28 PM »
I thought it would be good to re post this as it is lost in the "Potential genetic defect in Shorthorn cattle" and people frequently ask how to go about submitting samples for abnormal calves

DL, What is the protocol for dealing with possible genetic defects in the shorthorn breed? Are there any forms for submission of the information? Any directions for submitting the DNA? And then who does it get sent to? These things would make it easier to submit the information if it is not available.

Thanks for the time and effort that you have put into this situation.

eskimo - to submit samples for a gene hunt you would do the following

- affected calf - if dead, take a chunk of ear (1 x 1 inch is enough) stick it in a baggy, label it with a sharpie (calf number, sire & dam, farm name) - put in refrigerator (or if you can't send it right away you can freeze it)

-affected calf - if alive - blood sample in purple top tube (make sure you rock the tube back and forth as it has an anti coagulant and you don't want the blood to clot - the DNA is in the nucleus of the white cells) or you can get a tissue sample from the ear using a pig ear notcher

- dam of calf - purple top tube - label with dams name, breed and reg # if registered

- sire - if he is yours and has not been collected - purple top tube; if he is yours and has been collected send a straw of semen (it can thaw); if he is an AI sire most likely DNA will be on file;  label with name, breed and reg # if registered

-pictures of affected calf, description of abnormality by you or vet, and if calf was necropsied copy of necropsy report; short video if you think that would help

- pedigree of affected calf

-your name, address and phone number (and email)

- send samples on Monday or Tues (depending on where you live) - don't want them sitting somewhere over the weekend; if they can get to Illinois from your place ground in 2 days that is ok, otherwise send 2nd day; unless you are sure it will stay cold include an ice pack. If you have a small styrofoam container that is good - also make sure everything is capped tight, tubes padded, and put everything in a zip lock baggie

- samples for a gene hunt go to Dr Beever (address below)

Jonathan E. Beever, Ph.D.
Department of Animal Sciences
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
220 Edward R. Madigan Laboratory, MC-051
1201 West Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801 USA

Some associations will pay for a complete necropsy on calves with abnormalities - generally for those abnormalities that are not confined to a limb (ie TH, PHA, AM, NH etc -   the really gross ugly ones) - Dr Steffen in Nebraska generally does them and calves are sent to him (sometimes frozen) - sometimes a closer vet pathologist will work with the association and Steffen to do the necropsy - I always suggest that people submit samples before the calf goes away for necropsy and that you keep a chunk of ear in your freezer - that way you know (a) the sample got the the gene gurus and (b) you always have a sample

Most breed associations have a genetic defect policy - ie how you report abnormal calves - generally it is not obvious when you go to their web site and often it is placed in some obscure place -

If you have a calf with an abnormality and you live near a U or state vet lab you can always take the calf for necropsy, in some instances you can arrange to ship it for necropsy

Samples from Canadian calves with abnormalities can be shipped with an import permit that Dr B has

let me know if I left anything out :)

ps thanks aj - you are right again

The Big Show / Potential genetic defect in Shorthorn cattle
« on: December 21, 2011, 04:33:39 PM »
A number of cases (>5 and <10) of abnormalities of the distal leg/foot and dew claws in Shorthorn calves have been reported. These cases are not "classic" mule foot as the claws (toes) are not fused, typically the calf has inappropriately placed dew claws and may have some other slight curvature or deformity at the base of the leg that makes it somewhat difficult for them to mobilize. It is my understanding that the ASA is aware of these cases.

All cases have similar ancestors on one side of the pedigree. The DNA from these cases has been 50K genotyped and there is information to suspect that this abnormality has a genetic component. However there have been insufficient samples submitted to clearly determine if the abnormality is genetic or if there is another cause.

If you have a calf born with an abnormality of the distal leg/foot/dew claw contact the ASA and submit samples to Dr Beever. The attached pictures of newborn calves show what this abnormality may look like

The Big Show / Pasture pictures
« on: June 16, 2011, 09:49:57 PM »
This is the Gizmo cow (3 year old) with her Blizzard heifer twins - tried posting them before but I think they were too big  :o that's what happens when you take an extended vacation from SP  ;)

the bull is a Buffalo Creek Hobo 1961 son out of Maine first calf heifer (Money Man daughter out of a PHAF Spin City X Magic cow)

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