Dairy cows can be GROWN by millions if no new DNA is introduced

Scientists inseminate dairy cows using the frozen semen of DEAD bulls to prevent them from being swept away by genetic weaknesses caused by inbreeding

  • Scientists at Penn State University breed the new stock of dairy cows
  • This is to ensure that they have a good degree of genetic variation between them
  • They say the animals may one day be needed to revitalize dairy cows
  • Genetic similarities put them at a much greater risk of dying from the same disease
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Dairy cows in the US have become so inbreeding that diseases of the future could destroy them in millions, experts warn.

Large parts of the cow population can be decimated because they all share a large part of their DNA and therefore the same vulnerabilities.

A scientist has warned that the nine million dairy cows in America & # 39; almost one large inbred family & # 39; to be.

The pedigree of a large proportion of these cow fathers, 99 percent to be precise, can be traced back to just two bulls, both born in the sixties.

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This lack of genetic diversity also means that we can hit a wall when it comes to the selective breeding of desired traits.

This means that the improvements that we have seen in the field of milk production, fertility and other characteristics would linger.

Researchers say that a new injection of genetic material may be needed to prevent this.

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Dairy cows in the US have become so inbreeding that diseases of the future could destroy them in millions, experts warn. Large parts of the cow population can be decimated because they all share a large part of their DNA and therefore the same vulnerabilities (stock)

Dairy cows in the US have become so inbreeding that diseases of the future could destroy them in millions, experts warn. Large parts of the cow population can be decimated because they all share a large part of their DNA and therefore the same vulnerabilities (stock)

To find out if that is the case, researchers at Penn State University (PSU) are now breeding new cows using the sperm of long dead bulls.

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They plan to take measurements of their main characteristics and compare them with current Holstein dairy cows – including their height, weight, milk production, fertility and general health.

They hope that when the day comes that fresh blood is needed to revitalize dairy cows, these genetically varied cows can provide the necessary DNA.

& # 39; What we did is narrow the genetic pool & # 39 ;, says Chad Dechow, associate professor of dairy cattle genetics at PSU, told Scientific American.

& # 39; If we limit the long-term genetic diversity of the breed, we limit how much genetic change can be made over time. & # 39;

The lack of genetic diversity in dairy cows also means that we can hit a wall when it comes to selective breeding of desired traits. This means that the improvements that we have seen in the field of milk production, fertility and other characteristics would come to a halt (stock image)

The lack of genetic diversity in dairy cows also means that we can hit a wall when it comes to selective breeding of desired traits. This means that the improvements that we have seen in the field of milk production, fertility and other characteristics would come to a halt (stock image)

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The lack of genetic diversity in dairy cows also means that we can hit a wall when it comes to selective breeding of desired traits. This means that the improvements that we have seen in the field of milk production, fertility and other characteristics would come to a halt (stock image)

There are two main types of dairy cow used in agriculture, the Holstein and the Frisian.

Holsteins are large cattle with fur color patterns of black and white or red and white and are usually found in the US.

British Friesian cattle look about the same but are generally slightly smaller than Holsteins and have more meat.

Holsteins produce an average of 1,600 gallons (7,330 liters) per year, with stock animals that are on average 1,890 gallons (8,600 liters).

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The average milk production of the British Frisian breed is currently 1,320 gallons (6,020 liters) per year.

Previous research conducted by PSU in 2015 revealed that it is only two variations in the Y chromosomes of most modern Holstein bulls.

The study also revealed that there is so much shared DNA in women that there is an effective population size of just 50, a size so small that the species would be considered a critical risk of extinction where they live in the wild.

& # 39; It is actually a large inbred family & # 39 ;, says Leslie B Hansen, a Holstein expert and professor at the University of Minnesota.

WHAT ARE THE TWO MAIN RACES OF DAIRY COW?

There are two main types of dairy cow used in agriculture, the Holstein and the Frisian.

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The Holstein cow is easily recognizable by their striking color markings and excellent milk production.

Holsteins are large cattle with fur color patterns of black and white or red and white.

The most important function of a dairy cow is to produce milk. In the UK, the US and many countries around the world, the Holstein is the predominant breed due to its ability to produce large quantities of milk efficiently.

Holsteins produce an average of 1,600 gallons (7,330 liters) per year, with stock animals that are on average 1,890 gallons (8,600 liters).

The British Frisian has developed along somewhat different lines and remains an animal with two goals.

That means they have the potential to produce significant amounts of milk and produce male calves that can be fattened to produce quality meat.

British Friesian cattle is generally slightly smaller than Holsteins and has more meat.

The average milk production of the British Frisian breed is currently 1,320 gallons (6,020 liters) per year.

The black-and-white Holstein and British-Frisian breeds come from Western Europe, in particular the Netherlands and northern Germany.

British Frisian was established in the United Kingdom in the nineteenth century, in particular in the eastern and home regions and in southern Scotland.

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The Holstein as we know it today was first established in North America, starting with an imported bull and four heifers from Holland in the United States in the 1850s.

The breed first appeared in the UK in the years immediately after the Second World War.

During this time, around 2,000 in-calf heifers plus a few bulls and cows were imported from Canada in combination with shiploads of cattle.

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