There are two ways to get polled cattle—dehorning and breeding. “Dehorning animals is a management practice that costs beef producers money in terms of time, labor and lost performance, and there are animal wellness elements associated with the practice that cause sensitivity among some consumers.” says Dr. Paulo Moraes, senior marketing manager for beef genomics and reproductives at Zoetis.
Breeding programs that produce polled cattle have long been in place, but it may take a lifetime to upgrade a herd. Until now, that is. “We are committed to delivering new resources like GeneSTAR Horn/Polled to help beef producers and the larger beef industry,” Moraes says.
Now, by using the new genomic test available from Zoetis, GeneSTAR® Horn/Polled can beef producers can identify homozygous and heterozygous polled for Brahman, Brangus, Limousin, and Simmental at an early age. This latest innovation from Zoetis has the opportunity to positively support the welfare of these animals as well as the beef industry overall, proliferating the number of polled animals in the marketplace.
Animals that are visibly polled may either be heterozygous or homozygous genetically, meaning they carry either one or two copies of the polled gene, respectively. Heterozygous polled animals possess one copy each of the polled and horned alleles, and consequently transmit the horned allele to one-half of their progeny. Animals with horns have two copies of the recessive horned allele, and thus do not need to be tested in order to determine their horn/polled genotype. Homozygous polled animals carry two copies of the dominant polled allele and produce only phenotypically polled offspring.
The GeneSTAR® Horn/Polled test is currently available and can be ordered as a stand-alone test or in combination with applicable i50K™ or SireTrace® testing. For more information, please contact your Zoetis representative or call (877) 233-3362.
Material on BEEF Briefing Room comes directly from company news releases. Source: Zoetis