Poll Tests Underpin Buyer Confidence

Two leading Shorthorn studs, Yamburgan and Futurity, have taken steps this year to underpin buyers confidence in their upcoming bull sales next week, by ensuring that their entire sale line up has been DNA tested for poll genes.

Yamburgan and Futurity Shorthorns will be holding their annual bull sales next week as part of The Shorthorn Week, which will see 245 Shorthorn sires offered over 4 days at 4 consecutive on-property sales which also include Shorthorn Central and Royalla Shorthorns.

Poll testing provides buyers with the opportunity to select for sires that are either homozygous or heterozygous polled, depending on their individual needs and circumstances.

The Poll Gene is a dominant gene whilst the horned gene is recessive. This means that animals that are visually horned, must also have two copies of the horn gene and do not benefit from DNA testing. However, visually polled animals may be either heterozygous (carry one poll gene and one horn gene) or homozygous (carry two polled genes) and only DNA testing can accurately distinguish which genes each animal carries.

When horned animals are mated to homozygous polled animals, their progeny must inherit one form of the poll gene, meaning that whilst they also carry one form of the horn gene, they will always be visually polled.

This is a valuable management tool for breeders with horned cattle who are looking for a  genetic alternative to dehorning within their programs.

Whilst single trait selection for any trait, including Poll genes, is not wise, having the entire sale team DNA tested means that breeders will have access to a wide variety of homozygous bulls that will also offer variation of selection for other traits.

For Yamburgan principal, John Manchee, poll testing offers opportunities to those breeders who are looking to introduce Shorthorn genetics and require the advantages of genetically polled cattle to blend with their current population.

With such a strong polled gene pool within the Shorthorn Beef population, John sees no real restriction genetically from selection for polled gene moving forward.

“It is really pleasing to see the level of polled genetics in the breed.” John said.

Whilst homozygous polled animals really offer the most benefit to those producers with a horned cow herd, the move also represents a strong commitment from these Shorthorn breeders to ensure that their cattle are fully described to prospective purchasers.

Poll testing results will be available from Yamburgan and Futurity Shorthorns prior to sale day next week.

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About Shorthorn

The Shorthorn breed is truly unique, from their distinctive roan colour, to their rich breed history and most importantly, the wonderful community of breeders, there is nothing else quite like a Shorthorn.

The key to the Shorthorn breeds advantage lies in their balanced genetic profile, driven by market participation that has been developed and refined, after more than 200 years of genetic selection under Australian conditions.

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