Genetic Parasite Control in Cattle

Once again we have to go back in time. Cattle in the wild would have had as much parasite resistance as present day wild animals, which made their existence possible. What we have done in the modern w

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5 thoughts on “Genetic Parasite Control in Cattle

  1. My two cents worth is that genetic resistance to parasites and other pests and diseases is strongly related to genetic diversity, so don’t cull so many animals that you inbreed. Genetic resistance is an arms race between host and parasite fought in every generation. The parasites have short life cycles and thus evolve fast. The host animals must keep reshuffling their genes and evolving new defences. An inbred herd cannot do this. Two animals with different genes for partial resistance to a bug give offspring with two potential defences against the parasite.

  2. Stephanie,
    I don’t know what the grazing plan was, but I doubt pastures were rotated, which will make a difference. Working from both angles is always better.

    Chip

  3. Once again, right on, Chip.
    I suspect that systemic anti-helminthic drugs and/or their partially metabolized down-stream products which are excreted in urine or dung may be harmful to some of our newly appreciated allies , the worms and bugs that live on or in the soil. Who knows?

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