Hereford question

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farmguy

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I just read an article concerning gene modification where Holstein horned bloodlines were modified in only one respect, to change the horn gene to polled. This was done by a commercial lab as I understand so the technology is available. I raise polled Herefords and have no desire to deal with horns and horns are not popular in this area. I also realize there are very strong feelings about polled Herefords by some individuals. However I do like some horned Herefords. My questions are how would the AHA feel about this gene modification? Also how would individuals on this forum feel about purchasing a bull with horned genetics but no horns on the bull or his offspring? Thanks farmguy
 

smnherf

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The animal rights aspect of dehorning livestock is an issue and will become more of an issue over time so if you could dehorn them genetically it would be good.

The AHA should not be affected by this one way or the other. In fact the commercial cattle sector will determine the success or failure of this technology. Its not a lot different than GMO's in crop production. If it creates demand for Hereford genetics, it would be a good thing in my book and should be for the AHA.
 

cow pollinater

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Sounds expensive. I doubt you'd get your money back out of it.
I prefer them horned but I understand why you would be concerned as it doesn't matter how good they are if they won't sell well in your area. I think a much more cost effective approach would be to test your cows and only use the horned bulls on homozygous polled cows.
With the backlash against GMO I wouldn't want to mess with it. I'm not anti GMO by any stretch of the imagination but I don't see any reason to alienate potential customers by doing something like this when it's so easy to make polled cattle without it.
 
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farmguy

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cow pollinater":11k9i5xf said:
Sounds expensive. I doubt you'd get your money back out of it.
I prefer them horned but I understand why you would be concerned as it doesn't matter how good they are if they won't sell well in your area. I think a much more cost effective approach would be to test your cows and only use the horned bulls on homozygous polled cows.
With the backlash against GMO I wouldn't want to mess with it. I'm not anti GMO by any stretch of the imagination but I don't see any reason to alienate potential customers by doing something like this when it's so easy to make polled cattle without it.

I guess that I have a problem with this approach. The bulls would all be heterozygous and up to half their calves would be horned depending on the cows. It would seem to be not totally honest unless one would explain carefully to the buyer and which in this area would not be a positive for that bull. I would like a repeat customer. farmguy
 

smnherf

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cow pollinater":3q367pum said:
Sounds expensive. I doubt you'd get your money back out of it.
I prefer them horned but I understand why you would be concerned as it doesn't matter how good they are if they won't sell well in your area. I think a much more cost effective approach would be to test your cows and only use the horned bulls on homozygous polled cows.
With the backlash against GMO I wouldn't want to mess with it. I'm not anti GMO by any stretch of the imagination but I don't see any reason to alienate potential customers by doing something like this when it's so easy to make polled cattle without it.

I am not sure they would be called GMO as GMOs have genes added to them. In this case it is more of a gene splicing process that is used. No genes from outside the species are used. In theory you could eliminate the horned gene from the population very quickly.

https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/ ... m-animals/
 

cow pollinater

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smnherf":1y5vlb58 said:
I am not sure they would be called GMO as GMOs have genes added to them.
It wouldn't but the end result is the same. Consumers get kind of nervous about eating stuff they don't understand.
 

smnherf

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cow pollinater":3twu5m0k said:
smnherf":3twu5m0k said:
I am not sure they would be called GMO as GMOs have genes added to them.
It wouldn't but the end result is the same. Consumers get kind of nervous about eating stuff they don't understand.

I understand but it is high time that the beef industry and agriculture industry take our message to the consumer instead of letting the anti ag people do it. We need to dopt the mindset of educating the consumers instead of reacting to every crisis that the agriculture haters create.
 

bigbluegrass

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Why wouldn't AHA be involved? It said in the article linked above: "Hornlessness is produced by insertion of genes from other cattle breeds that are naturally hornless." So what are the "other cattle breeds that are naturally hornless" - Angus?? So in effect, wouldn't you be introducing these "naturally hornless" genetics into the AHA? How do you record that in the Hereford herd book?

There are DNA tested homo-polled Herefords out there. I am not saying they are the perfect cattle, but if you put homo-polled cows and homo-polled bulls together you will get homo-polled offspring.
 
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farmguy

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Couldn't you introduce genes just for the polled trait from another Hereford? So the animal would still be all Hereford.
 

Son of Butch

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farmguy":1fli56uv said:
Couldn't you introduce genes just for the polled trait from another Hereford?
So the animal would still be all Hereford.
Sure, but then you'd bring in the other genes as well.
Work done in Holsteins to by pass the lower production genes of polled holsteins.
 
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farmguy

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Son of Butch":y7fuh8r6 said:
farmguy":y7fuh8r6 said:
Couldn't you introduce genes just for the polled trait from another Hereford?
So the animal would still be all Hereford.
Sure, but then you'd bring in the other genes as well.
Work done in Holsteins to by pass the lower production genes of polled holsteins.

I believe only 1 pair of genes would be involved, that being for the polled trait but I could be wrong
 

Son of Butch

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smn herf":exes4syk said:
I am not sure they would be called GMO as GMOs have genes added to them.
Sorry... wrong answer
Modify definition: to change or partially alter either by addition to or subtraction of an existing part.

If producers don't understand the terminology more so consumers.
By the time a GMO product hits the shelf it is a blood sucking vampire in the eyes of the general public.
 

smnherf

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Son of Butch":2zwmygxi said:
smn herf":2zwmygxi said:
I am not sure they would be called GMO as GMOs have genes added to them.
Sorry... wrong answer
Modify definition: to change or partially alter either by addition to or subtraction of an existing part.

If producers don't understand the terminology more so consumers.
By the time a GMO product hits the shelf it is a blood sucking vampire in the eyes of the general public.

Is that your definition or someone else's? I don't want to get into a GMO discussion, but your definition is actually one I see used by the anti GMO crowd. Their definition would encompass pretty much any change to any plant or animal despite the method used to make that change occur. Conventional plant breeding techniques would fall under that definition including hybrid corn, or modification of the protein or milling qualities in wheat. It would actually apply to a red necked Hereford or a red legged Hereford too as they are not true breed character or even a black Simmental, Limmi or Gelbveih. Those advances were made through natural selection without adding genetic material not already in the gene population.

The method of the addition or subtraction of the addition part must be considered and the source of that part is important to the definition of GMO. Adding a polled gene from a polled Hereford to a horned Hereford isn't the same as adding a part from a dog to a cow as what some anti GMO people want consumers to think. The want the idea of frankenfood to cloud the consumers judgement. The fact is that I could add the polled gene to that horned cow through natural breeding techniques, but I also could use the gene spicing to remove it and save myself over 30 years of breeding enhancement. The results are the same. Should one be GMO and one not or should they both be GMO??

The GMO definition is an important one because there is a huge push to label GMO products. If the definition is too broad it will mean that any food or food product that is changed from where it is today or was 10 or 20 years ago will be a GMO and all of it will be labeled as GMO. It will have a devastating effect on the ability of agriculture to continue improve its production and efficiency.
 

Son of Butch

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smnherf":kyd17wul said:
Son of Butch":kyd17wul said:
smn herf":kyd17wul said:
I am not sure they would be called GMO as GMOs have genes added to them.
Sorry... wrong answer
Modify definition: to change or partially alter either by addition to or subtraction of an existing part.
Is that your definition or someone else's?
You can look it up in your Funk & Wagnalls.

The definition of a word really isn't open to discussion.
Whether you are modifying a carburetor or any other item it is an alteration by either addition or subtraction.
It is mentioned in the article they would prefer to call what they did gene editing to get away from the negative public image of gmo.
 

cow pollinater

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Two things jump out at me after thinking about this thread a little more. No disrespect intended to anyone but in my mind they're worth considering.
For years polled cattle breeders have been telling us they are just as good as horned and I must admit that the quality has improved greatly. If polled really is just as good as horned and the horns are a no go then why would you not just stick with polled bulls? There are enough out there of seemingly good quality that you shouldn't feel the need to use a horned bull unless you felt they had something that your cattle lacked.
If you're willing to works so hard to educate people, why not just tell them why you chose to use a horned bull?
 

BK9954

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cow pollinater":691knvng said:
Two things jump out at me after thinking about this thread a little more. No disrespect intended to anyone but in my mind they're worth considering.
For years polled cattle breeders have been telling us they are just as good as horned and I must admit that the quality has improved greatly. If polled really is just as good as horned and the horns are a no go then why would you not just stick with polled bulls? There are enough out there of seemingly good quality that you shouldn't feel the need to use a horned bull unless you felt they had something that your cattle lacked.
If you're willing to works so hard to educate people, why not just tell them why you chose to use a horned bull?
Been salivating over hereford bulls for a while. I dont like horns, dont like dealing with them or cutting them. It just seems to me I see a lot more horned herford bulls that look better. There are some good looking polled, just not as many.
 

SPH

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With the advances in technology these days maybe some day we'll see some kind of affordable "gene editing" with horned bulls where you can buy semen on a horned bull and the horn gene is taken out much like they sell sexed semen these days. For me I know what I am about to say some horned breeders don't like to hear but the best way to knock the horns off of good horned Hereford cattle is to start introducing some homozygous polled bulls into your program where you still keep the horned genetics but gradually start turning generations into good polled cattle. There are several long standing Hereford programs around the country that were mostly horned that are gradually turning more polled these days. One of the prime examples is the Rausch program in South Dakota. That program used to be mostly horned and over the years they have invested in some very good polled bulls and still remain one of the best Hereford breeders in the country who now are producing some very solid Polled Hereford cattle.

While we have a polled herd we have some horn genes back in some of our cows pedigrees and matched up with the right bull that also does we occasionally get a recessive horn gene that pops up. A few years back we had a dehorned bull in our sale pen that was out of both a polled dam and the bull that was probably the best bull of the bunch. Most of the commercial guys that inquired about our bulls wouldn't even consider him because they wanted a polled bull. Even after explaining that if they bred him to an Angus female it would result in a polled calf but they were still were leery about what was in the woodpile of their black crossbreds that they might still get horns and didn't want to deal with that possibility.

I've got nothing against horned Herefords and I don't mind some horned genetics in our pedigrees because you want the best performance you can get regardless. But there is a lot bigger market and demand out there these days for Polled Herefords and some of these guys that are in denial of that are missing out on opportunity by disregarding the polled side of the breed and not looking into introducing some proven polled bloodlines to their horned program.
 

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