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 Kiss of Death! Damn!

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Dylan Biggs



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PostSubject: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:31 pm







Why You Need Population Genetics:
the "Elevator Pitch"
1) All the useful genetic variation your breed will ever have was in the dogs that founded the breed. This genetic diversity is finite.

2) Each generation, alleles can be lost by chance (this is called "genetic drift") and also through artificial selection by breeders, who select for dogs with the traits they like and remove other dogs from the breeding population.

3) Because the stud book is closed, genes that are lost cannot be replaced.

4) So, from the moment a breed is founded and the stud book is closed, loss of genetic diversity over time is inevitable and relentless.

5) You cannot remove just a single gene from a population. You must remove an entire dog and all the genes it has.

6) You cannot select for or against a single gene, because genes tend to move in groups with other genes (this is called "linkage"). If you select for (or against) one, you select for (or against) them all.

7) Breeding for homozygosity of some traits breeds for homozygosity of all traits. Homozygosity is the kiss of death to the immune system. And by the way, as genetic variability decreases, so does the ability of the breeder to improve a breed through selection, because selection requires variability.

Cool The consequences of inbreeding (in all animals) are insidious but obvious if you look - decreased fertility, difficulty whelping, smaller litters, higher puppy mortality, puppies that don't thrive, shorter lifespan, etc. Genetically healthy dogs should get pregnant if mated. They should have large litters of robust puppies, with low pup mortality. Animals that cannot produce viable offspring are removed by natural selection.

9) Mutations of dominant genes are removed from the population if they reduce fitness. Mutations of recessive alleles have no effect unless they are homozygous. So rare alleles are not removed, they are inherited from one generation to the next, and every animal has them. Lots of 'em.

10) If you create a bunch of puppies from your favorite sire, you are making dozens of copies of all of the bad alleles in that dog (which were never a problem before because they were recessive; see 9) and spewing them out into the population. Now, a (previously) rare mutation will become common, its frequency in the population increases, and the chances go up that some puppy will be produced that is homozygous (has two copies of that bad allele) - and homozygous recessive alleles are no longer silent.

11) So, genetic disorders caused by recessive alleles don't "suddenly appear" in a breed. The defective gene was probably there all along. Make a zillion copies, and suddenly you have a disease.

12) Using DNA testing to try to remove disease genes from the breed will not make dogs healthier (see 2, 5, and 6).

13) The breed will continue to lose genes every generation (by chance or selection) until the gene pool no longer has the genes necessary to build a healthy dog.

14) At this point, the breed might look wonderful (because of selection for type), but it will suffer from the ill effects of genetic impoverishment - inbreeding depression, diseases caused by recessive alleles, increased risk for cancer, etc.

16) The health of individual dogs cannot be improved without improving the genetic health of the breed. The only way to improve the genetic health of a breed is to manage the health of the breed's gene pool.

17) Population genetics provides tools for the genetic management of breeds or other groups of animals. Breeders CAN improve the health of the dogs they breed if they understand and use them.

Not a well thought out article but typical.
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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:09 am

Is the loss of fertility the results of inbreeding or poor selection on the breeders part? If the breeder removes the problem fertily animals from the gene pool shouldn't the fertility increase?
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:34 am

PatB wrote:
Is the loss of fertility the results of inbreeding or poor selection on the breeders part?   If the breeder removes the problem fertily animals from the gene pool shouldn't the fertility increase?
Problem from my view: how do you select for or against for traits that you cannot see? You would have to keep most of each generation until they proved their fertility or lack of it. Nobody has that time or will to investment that much.
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RobertMac



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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:30 am

EddieM wrote:
PatB wrote:
Is the loss of fertility the results of inbreeding or poor selection on the breeders part?   If the breeder removes the problem fertily animals from the gene pool shouldn't the fertility increase?
Problem from my view: how do you select for or against for traits that you cannot see?  You would have to keep most of each generation until they proved their fertility or lack of it.  Nobody has that time or will to investment that much.
I've been doing it for about 15 years. The Lasater's have been doing it since the late 30's. I'm sure there are more.
I have a commercial cattleman that wants to buy all my culls at a premium. I could make more if I could turn them into beef in a vacuum pack.

You should get and read "The Lasater Philosophy of Cattle Raising"...would give you a different perspective.
To paraphrase Mr. Tom...steers are a byproduct of a well run breeding operation.


I thought all dog breeds were the result of mutations.

Aren't mutations from "new genes" that were created and we can see the results?
Do mutations create new genes in a closed gene pool that we can't see?
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:25 pm

RobertMac wrote:
EddieM wrote:
PatB wrote:
Is the loss of fertility the results of inbreeding or poor selection on the breeders part?   If the breeder removes the problem fertily animals from the gene pool shouldn't the fertility increase?
Problem from my view: how do you select for or against for traits that you cannot see?  You would have to keep most of each generation until they proved their fertility or lack of it.  Nobody has that time or will to investment that much.
I've been doing it for about 15 years. The Lasater's have been doing it since the late 30's. I'm sure there are more.
I have a commercial cattleman that wants to buy all my culls at a premium. I could make more if I could turn them into beef in a vacuum pack.

You should get and read "The Lasater Philosophy of Cattle Raising"...would give you a different perspective.
To paraphrase Mr. Tom...steers are a byproduct of a well run breeding operation.


I thought all dog breeds were the result of mutations.

Aren't mutations from "new genes" that were created and we can see the results?
Do mutations create new genes in a closed gene pool that we can't see?
EM wrote:
You would have to keep most of each generation until they proved their fertility or lack of it.
Robert, this is the other part of the statement. How do you know that you made the correct selections? What if the better animals got culled or sold because the fertility score is not written on an external tag of each calf? That was the point. More of a comment on selecting females than steers and bulls. And if you go back and read some of Larry's stuff he used bull(s) for longterm improvement/stabilization that would have been steered in "performance only" seeking programs.

I had a guy to come by yesterday to look at a bull I listed as calving ease. He bought a "calving ease" bull from a big name a year+ ago and ended up pulling 33% of the calves from his heifers. I asked him if he wanted to see the dam, half sisters, etc and he just wanted to see the bull. He looked at him and said that he likes more muscling in his bulls and might use the other bull again and hope that the problems do not show up again. Does he want calving ease to create better cows or a big name "curve bender" growth type calving ease bull that will not be able to help him on his heifers? He "voted" terminal!
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RobertMac



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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:09 pm

Eddie, I agree that I don't know if the correct selections are made...only time will tell the truth.
But, the only culling selections I make are for disposition or obvious physical and structure problems. The heifers and cows make their own culling decision. If you want fertility, you have to select fertility.

The way I got my customer that wants to buy all my cull females is because I sold him 3 heifers a couple years ago that I had picked as my best heifers...they didn't breed on time. Shows what I know.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:05 pm

If you want fertility, you have to select fertility.

Are the "fertility genes" isolated by limiting feed, or by fully meeting all nutritional needs of the animal ?

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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:25 pm

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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:27 pm

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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:37 pm

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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:38 am

If one removes animals from the gene pool that fail to breed in your desired season or fails to calve is not that selecting for fertility. Take it one step further and remove cows and descendants that have poor breeding and calving history. You could extend this further and apply pressure to sire descendants that have poor calving/breeding history. PS high pockets come to mind as a bull that has this challenge. Dad had 17 daughters of this bull and shortly his influence will be completely gone from the herd. Most of the daughters failed in the first 3 years with several lasting for years but their descendants had a tendancy to still have poor history of breeding or delivering a calf at weaning. The management decision to sell all opens heifers after set breeding season and open cows at weaning has resulted in some cow family branches being removed from the herd.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:43 am

PatB wrote:
If one removes animals from the gene pool that fail to breed in your desired season or fails to calve is not that selecting for fertility.  Take it one step further and remove cows and descendants that have poor breeding and calving history.   You could extend this further and apply pressure to sire descendants that have poor calving/breeding history.  PS high pockets come to mind as a bull that has this challenge.  Dad had 17 daughters of this bull and shortly his influence will be completely gone from the herd.  Most of the daughters failed in the first 3 years with several lasting for years but their descendants had a tendancy to still have poor history of breeding or delivering a calf at weaning.   The management decision to sell all opens heifers after set breeding season and open cows at weaning has resulted in some cow family branches being removed from the herd.
would a Jersey cow likely have a good calving record in your herd Pat?
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RobertMac



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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:50 am

MKeeney wrote:
If you want fertility, you have to select fertility.

Are the "fertility genes" isolated by limiting feed, or by fully meeting all nutritional needs of the animal ?

Fertility is a function of the endocrine system that is controlled by the nervous system and both are the results of genetic makeup. Is fertility influenced by nutrition? Absolutely. Nutrition level is a function of management and, more often than not, economics sets that level. So, the question starts with...can you economically fully meeting all nutritional needs of the animal all your animals?

Limiting feed?
Do you mean as in limiting quantity or type?
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RobertMac



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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:03 am

Pat, if you sell all opens after a set breeding season, they become history instead of making history.
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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:40 pm

RobertMac wrote:
Pat, if you sell all opens after a set breeding season, they become history instead of making history.
I am just about done cleaning out the history makers and descendants that dad gave multiple chances to.  I was guilty of giving multiple chances when I started in the angus business.  It is amazing how some bloodlines have more fertility issues than others and it shows up in multiple generations.  With my calving season it makes more economical sense to ship opens before investing winters feed into them. There is always a group of heifers waiting their chance to prove themselves and take the spot of a animal that failed to meet expectations.


Last edited by PatB on Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:43 pm

MKeeney wrote:
PatB wrote:
If one removes animals from the gene pool that fail to breed in your desired season or fails to calve is not that selecting for fertility.  Take it one step further and remove cows and descendants that have poor breeding and calving history.   You could extend this further and apply pressure to sire descendants that have poor calving/breeding history.  PS high pockets come to mind as a bull that has this challenge.  Dad had 17 daughters of this bull and shortly his influence will be completely gone from the herd.  Most of the daughters failed in the first 3 years with several lasting for years but their descendants had a tendancy to still have poor history of breeding or delivering a calf at weaning.   The management decision to sell all opens heifers after set breeding season and open cows at weaning has resulted in some cow family branches being removed from the herd.
would a Jersey cow likely have a good calving record in your herd Pat?
When dad raised baby beef and dairy replacements yes Jersey cows had good calving records. Some cows are destined to produce seedless fruit until theymess up and go to beef.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:04 pm

If one removes animals from the gene pool that fail to breed in your desired season or fails to calve is not that selecting for fertility?

not necessarily; it could be selecting for animals that match your feed resources...therefore, the question about Jerseys...a high percentage would likely be open run as a beef cow; though the breed be quite fertile...

Is fertility influenced by nutrition? Absolutely.

a bull can`t pass a feed bunk to his offspring; therefore, I believe Robert`s talking adaptation rather than fertility, same as Pat...can infertility be cured with feed??? I don`t think so...

Pat,
what criteria do you use to select for fertility among the various AI bulls you use?
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:16 pm

one more time...the only wheat seed I ever harvest is from plants that came up...and have been coming up since "wheat`s" origin...why does the germination of new crop, field grown, wheat seed always run in the 85 % range...???
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RobertMac



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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:21 am

MK wrote:
I believe Robert`s talking adaptation rather than fertility
Fertility is an indicator of adaptation. Adaptation is an indicator of a strong endocrine system. A strong endocrine system is a indicator of good genetics. A good breeder knows how to perpetuate good genetics. I have no illusion of being a breeder.

Fulfilling all nutritional needs doesn't necessarily make one a great breeder, but it does make great looking cattle...as long as they are by the feed bunk.

If a cow had a hundred or so offspring in a year, I would be happy with 85%.
Animals aren't plants...I'm obviously missing something.
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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:47 am

I`m just debunking the idea that permeates so much purebred BS advertising; that we treat`em tough, cull opens, and our fertility is great as a result...I`m of the opinion that the greatest economic benefit of culling open cows is the feed cost savings rather than the economic benefit derived from the genetic improvement of fertility in a herd by culling...
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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:18 pm

MKeeney wrote:
I`m just debunking the idea that permeates so much purebred BS advertising; that we treat`em tough, cull opens, and our fertility is great as a result...I`m of the opinion that the greatest economic benefit of culling open cows is the feed cost savings rather than the economic benefit derived from the genetic improvement of fertility in a herd by culling...
 
I agree the greastest economic benefit from caulling open cows is feed cost savings. There is a benefit from removing open animals for what ever reason they are open, poor adaptation, genetic defect or some other reason. If an animals fails to breed and deliver a calf at weaning every year why should they pass their genetics on to future generations?
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:51 pm

MKeeney wrote:
I`m just debunking the idea that permeates so much purebred BS advertising; that we treat`em tough, cull opens, and our fertility is great as a result...I`m of the opinion that the greatest economic benefit of culling open cows is the feed cost savings rather than the economic benefit derived from the genetic improvement of fertility in a herd by culling...
 
If the rate of culling is decreasing then there is progress. Anyone who has a set annual culling rate is missing the boat. You should be breeding for it to decrease.
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Kent Powell



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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:45 pm

Does zero tolerance on your females for reproductive slippage mean anything if the sires you use are from generations of donor cows bred for terminal traits?



PatB wrote:
MKeeney wrote:
I`m just debunking the idea that permeates so much purebred BS advertising; that we treat`em tough, cull opens, and our fertility is great as a result...I`m of the opinion that the greatest economic benefit of culling open cows is the feed cost savings rather than the economic benefit derived from the genetic improvement of fertility in a herd by culling...
 
I agree the greastest economic benefit from caulling open cows is feed cost savings.  There is a benefit from removing open animals for what ever reason they are open, poor adaptation, genetic defect or some other reason.   If an animals fails to breed and deliver a calf at weaning every year why should they pass their genetics on to future generations?
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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:34 pm

Kent Powell wrote:
Does zero tolerance on your females for reproductive slippage mean anything if the sires you use are from generations of donor cows bred for terminal traits?



PatB wrote:
MKeeney wrote:
I`m just debunking the idea that permeates so much purebred BS advertising; that we treat`em tough, cull opens, and our fertility is great as a result...I`m of the opinion that the greatest economic benefit of culling open cows is the feed cost savings rather than the economic benefit derived from the genetic improvement of fertility in a herd by culling...
 
I agree the greastest economic benefit from caulling open cows is feed cost savings.  There is a benefit from removing open animals for what ever reason they are open, poor adaptation, genetic defect or some other reason.   If an animals fails to breed and deliver a calf at weaning every year why should they pass their genetics on to future generations?
It does not matter who the sire or dam of an animal that fails to deliver a calf at weaning or fails the preq test. Some sire lines have failed the test of time as their descendants are no longer in the herd. Some of the so called terminal sires have stood the test of time with their daughters staying in production.
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MVCatt



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PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:41 pm

Kent Powell wrote:
Does zero tolerance on your females for reproductive slippage mean anything if the sires you use are from generations of donor cows bred for terminal traits?
Kent, you're no fun! I love to watch people chase their tales, I just hate to hear about it.
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