Actual inbreeding percent on a polled herd

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Actual inbreeding percent on a polled herd

Postby JayHerron » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:49 am

In a recent Progressive Dairyman article, they stated that using polled genetics exclusively would seriously increase inbreeding in the Jersey breed: ... -germplasm

In my opinion, the article is full of inaccurate data.

I am in my 11th year of polled breeding and my herd is now 75% polled with at least 10% homozygous polled. In the past 11 years I've used over 100 different polled sires and only one horned bull (10 total units of semen on some of my homozygous cows/heifers). You can see a graph of my herd's inbreeding percent which shows that in 2016 I was below breed average despite using polled exclusively for 9 years at the time:

inbreeding.png (39.45 KiB) Viewed 147 times

Inbreeding can be controlled with attention to matings and by using a variety of bulls. The same is true in breeding horned animals.

The article also states that polled animals will also be less productive than horned. Again, I feel this data is inaccurate and misleading. If polled sires are used on the elite cows of the world to produce the next generation of young sires, there will be very little difference in true production of the offspring. It is articles like the one above that causes the data to become disproportionate because of human bias toward only using the highest ranking horned bulls on the highest ranking elite cows in the world.

Despite the fact that my homebred herd of cows is 99% composed of cows that were sired by polled bulls, my herd is nationally ranked for production among ALL herds in the USA. So again, with the right breeding strategy, I feel that there is no REAL difference in production between horned and polled after 11 years of polled breeding. I'll attach a herd booklet that Bill Maness and I put together for the 2018 AJCA annual meeting tour:

Complete Handout - Herd Tour 29June2018.pdf
(1.09 MiB) Downloaded 32 times
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Re: Actual inbreeding percent on a polled herd

Postby QuentinPri » Sat Jul 21, 2018 12:05 pm

Interesting read, both the article and your post, JayHerron. I guess we ought to wait for a study that's hopefully conducted in a serious manner.
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