Forum Posts

ian
Jun 06, 2022
In General Discussion
In the knowledge that Europe, Asia and more recently the Americas were teeming with bison/buffalo and other herbivores, it seems fanciful that livestock farming could be responsible for man made climate change. In this post I intend to avoid penetrating the so called science of climate change, which has become a vehicle for supra national control, to concentrate on more justifiable concerns over the human footprint. The rapid undermining of the ecosystem, evidenced by species rarity and losses is being blamed, along with other ‘culprits’, on cattle. To some extent this is justifyable, especially when factory style rearing is supported by the particularly damaging cattle feed industry. Farms adjacent mine resemble the surface of the moon. Every season:- Roundup to kill vegetation, artificial fertiliser, insecticides and a final dose of Roundup to “ripen” the corns leaves a monoculture more like the surface of the moon. Nothing lives but the crop, and there is increasing evidence of the negative effects. Short term advantages in productivity are not doubted, but the decimation of the chain of plant and insect life, and consequent loss and rarity of ‘higher’ species is evident to all of us. This is where the Traditional Hereford comes to the rescue. Of course they can be factory farmed, but many of us manage very well farming the cattle similarly to the methods in which they were originally selected in the 19th century, our cattle thriving on grass and our own haylage. We don’t need to feed our cattle on corns, in competition with arable products for human consumption. Whereas we want to improve our pasture, this can be done without the annual rape of the environment; the ratcheting up of chemical and food costs. Government ignorance is rampant. Making policy on the “hoof”, Kwasi Kwarteng the Business Minister has said “We must go vegan to save the planet”. Not at all! To save the planet we need to stop short term dosing and return to a more traditional approach to agriculture. Here is a link to the positive results of experiment comparing modern agricultural method with the traditional, in which it explains that healthy soil itself is the key, locking carbon, a key element of life, into the soil ecology. In this context, we are not rejecting science, but learning from our mistakes. The age of Chemical Food Production is gone. Regenerative Organic agriculture is really the future. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuRpEA1sFow
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ian
May 05, 2022
In Pedigree Q&A
I'm posting here response from Dr. Matt Hegarty of IBERS, University of Aberystwyth, to my post of 4th Dec.2021on dam of lines:- "I've attached a couple of PowerPoint figures showing how matrilines could be disproportionately represented over time within populations - especially with the heavy use of bull lines and line breeding: - "Dam lines are of importance in animal breeding as much of the selection is performed on the sires, which only carry a single copy of the X chromosome inherited from their mother. A bull's sons will not inherit his X chromosome, so any contribution it makes to the bull's EBV will not be passed to his male offspring (whereas his daughters will have 50% of his EBV and 50% of the dam's, as for all the other chromosomes). Over time, this can lead to predominance of certain matrilines if a limited number of sires is used within a population (or line breeding occurs). "Many important traits to do with sexual development are carried by genes present on the X chromosome, particularly to do with fertility in both males (sperm motility and scrotal circumference, for example) and females (eg: age at first calving, ovulation rate, incidence of endometriosis). "These factors also apply to the mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited solely from the dam in both male and female offspring (whereas daughters will inherit their sire's X-chromosome). There is evidence that production traits (i.e. weight, marbling) in cattle are affected by variation in mtDNA sequence, which is expected given the role of the mitochondria in energy metabolism. "Monitoring of dam lines via pedigree evaluation and genetic testing is valuable to breeders, therefore. SNP chip testing incorporates both X-chromosome and mtDNA markers which can be employed for this purpose."
Matrilines, by Dr Matt Hegarty content media
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ian
Dec 04, 2021
In Pedigree Q&A
Dam lines are frequently used to name females, e.g. Olde House Caroline 8th. However, it seems to me that unless such founding dams have frequently been bred to sires of similar breeding, then the genetic significance, at least the nuclear DNA of the founding dam in the line, is progressively reduced with each generation. However I understand that the mitochondrial DNA within the unfertilised cell, which has important function, no doubt amongst other things, in respiration (powerhouse of the cell), is inherited from the dam (I see this absolute position disputed), although this varies in species but apparently female ancestry in cattle can be studied through the relatively unchanged passing down of mtDNA from mother to her offspring. One would like to know whether the eggs formed in the female, early on in her life, indeed during embryonic developement, are contributed to by her sire only with respect to half of the half set of nuclear DNA in the unfertilised ovum, or if her sire also contributes to other ovum features, like the cell wall, the cytoplasm, etc. The question boils down to, what do geneticists like Dr. Matthew Hegarty, who provides services to HHBI, or anyone that views this blog, have to say about the importance of dam lines in one's breeding programme in the genetic context?
Dam lines content media
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