Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Spotting Indicator

This one is rather confusing. We have been told that the recessive spotting gene is recessive to the Hereford gene. As a result one would expect that any a recessive spotted animal bred to a hereford animal would result in a bald face calf. This is generally true, however I have noticed a few instances where this does not seem to hold true. Many of you will have noticed the occaisonal hereford marked calf when a hereford parent is bred to a solid colored parent. After watching things in my own herd over the last few years, I have come to the conclusion that for these oddball calves to happen, that solid colored parent must be carrying a copy of the recessive spotting gene.

Here are a few examples......
When this cow

Was bred hereford, we got this calf

A couple years later we bred her to a spotted Shorthorn (ss) bull and got this calf

Which leaves me with the conclusion, that the cow carries the recessive spotting gene (Ss). And that the hereford gene must combine at times with the recessive spotting gene.

This bull is the sire of the next 2 calves, he is ShSh, but exhibits only a very minimal featherneck

Here is another solid cow That when bred Hereford will occaisionally throw a calf like this

The featherneck is the main Hereford trait that is lost when an animal is heterozygous rather than homo for Sh, so it really makes me wonder how that cow could have thrown such an extreme featherneck.

Especially considering that the hereford bull that she was bred to exhibits such a minimal featheneck.....

Another calf, this one is out of a ss(spotted) cow bred to an ShSh (hereford)bull

And here we have a ShS (red baldy) cow that when bred to a ss (spotted) Shorthorn

Gave us this calf, with a rather pronounced featherneck and quite a lot of white on her belly and legs.

A darkening factor

The wild type gene, exhibits itself in more than one way. This calf exhibits how a calf can be born one color and then darken as she ages.

As a newborn she looked like a typical red baldy. Notice however, the black markings on her nose. This calf is E+e and ShS

at about 3 months in age you can already see her darkening. Notice that her nose is nearly completely black now, and you can see darker areas around her tail and neck

and here she is at about 5 months old. She is a much darker red than as a newborn, and you can see even darker areas on her neck, hindquarters and tail.