How Does a Cow’s Hide Color Tell the Cow Produce What?
A simple way to identify a cow by its color is to look at the markings on its hide. Some breeds have distinctive color markings that indicate the type of meat they will produce. These markings are based on genetics. Some breeds are prone to producing white-faced calves, and others have dark-skinned calves. The color of a cow’s hide tells you a lot about the breed’s health.
Predictability of color in beef cattle
The genetic structure of fat and meat color in beef cattle is highly related to the marbling score of these animals. A recent study by Do et al. estimated the correlation between fat and meat color at 0.60. There is also a high heritability between meat texture and fat color. This relationship was found in two other studies. In both studies, the correlations were moderate. While the results of this study were inconclusive, there was a good correlation between the two traits.
For the study, blood and hair samples from four steers were obtained. Hair samples from the switch of the tail were also used. Hair samples should be attached to the roots. The phenotypic information obtained from these samples was recorded on frozen carcasses. Hair samples from different animals are usually taken from the same spot. The full details of the feeding and management of the cattle are reported elsewhere. When studying the genetics of beef cattle, phenotypic evaluation is an important tool for decision-making.
Genetics of color inheritance
There are many ways to determine how colors are inherited in beef cattle. Some genetics are fixed, such as the black allele being dominant over the red one, and some are not. In general, cattle will have one or more of three basic colors, black, red, and white. Certain breeds may have more than one basic color or even several colors. These genetics can make predicting colors a bit more difficult.
The genetics of color inheritance in beef cattle vary from breed to strain. Generally, white is inherited through a recessive allele, meaning that only two cows in a herd will be truly white. Other coloration traits can be inherited through the use of a dominant or recessive allele. Heredity can also affect coloration in cattle. Some cows may have a white splotch or patch on the head or belly.
Signs of vitamin A deficiency in beef cattle
The first signs of vitamin A deficiency in cattle are typically night blindness and poor appetite. Other symptoms may include a rough hair coat, decreased appetite, reduced feed efficiency, and slowed growth. In young cattle, diarrhea and pneumonia can be early signs of vitamin A deficiency. Later signs may include excessive watering of the eyes and lameness of the knees or legs. Swollen or painful hock joints are also symptoms of vitamin A deficiency.
In beef cattle, a deficiency of vitamin A may occur when the diet is inadequate. High-nitrate levels in feeds may inhibit the conversion of beta-carotene into vitamin A, which causes the deficiency. Beef cattle must be supplemented with sufficient amounts of vitamin A to maintain normal growth, immune function, and reproduction. Deficient beef cattle may also suffer from brittle bones, digestive disorders, and lowered appetite.