ICBF is still on the quest for funny looking calves as stated in an older post but one thing has shown up a few more times than we would have expected. Tailless calves. The news of these tailless calves got our health and disease researcher very interested and she’s now looking for other cattle that were born without tails, or very short tails. While this is not an epidemic of tailless cattle in Ireland, there are a few more this year than in previous years so we’re interested in why; Is it because we have a new reporting system, or because there is something different going on in the cattle population? Only way to find out is to collect more data!
If you have an animal that was born without a tail or with a shortened tail (~10 cm or less) we’d like to know and collect both a DNA sample and photo of the animal. If the animal is no longer with you or died, we’re still interested in it being reported on the survey so we can identify if a particular line or breed is associated with this trait. If you’re online and your neighbor isn’t but has had one of these calves, please reach out to them so we can get as much information on this as possible.
If you have any of these animals, or if you have had a calf born with any other defects please be sure to fill out the Congenital Defects survey (click here!). If the animal you are reporting is older and has already been genotyped we can use the data from the genotyping to look for areas in the genome that all these animals share and hopefully learn more about this defect and any others that get reported to us.
If you have already reported your calf on the defects survey, thank you for being at the forefront of this new chapter in genetics! Your contributions will be used to help identify new genetic defects and help us breed healthier cattle. Keep up the good work!
Any questions about this project or any other congenital defects? E-mail [email protected]