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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
I'm more familiar with dairy. Beef types must be dehorned more routinely to reduce bruising cuts?
My apologies, I missed this. (Ooops, upon reread I guess that I didn't. Oh well, consider this TMI.)

Cattle will slam their heads against other cattle while establishing dominance.

Horns are hard and will bruise/wound, etc..

They are also a nuisance when running cattle through a working corral system as they are often wider than the body and interfere with moving cattle down tight alleyways and putting their heads through a chute.

Working corral alleyways must be tight, because given just a bit of extra room, cattle will turn themselves around and be facing against the flow causing a royal PITA getting them turned back around.

If I'm going to be hit by a cow's head, better it a hornless one as at least she/he is hitting me with the side of their head rather than with a very hard protruding object.

Bruises rather than busted ribs.
 
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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Angus don't have horns. That's why some farmers prefer them, they aren't as noisy. Too many cows honking their horns in the middle of the night can become quite irritating.
My apologies as I passed up an important point.

Angus cattle are genetically homozygous polled.

That means that no matter what an Angus is bred to, the resulting offspring will be hornless/polled.

Summary: Completely avoiding both horns and scurs in your cowherd is near impossible for most commercial cattle producers. Understanding how we get polled and horned cattle is relatively simple and a genomics test can tell us if an animal is a carrier of the horn allele or not. Unfortunately, the presence or absence of scurs just barely scratches the surface of providing an understanding of what is happening genetically, and problematic in that there is not a genomics test to assist in developing a breeding strategy to eliminate scurs. When managing a breeding program to minimize these conditions it is critical not to complicate the situation more by introducing myths and misconceptions. Understanding the relationship between polled, scurred and horned cattle is the first step in developing a successful breeding program to eliminate horns and reduce scurs.

The genetics association with horned, scurred and polled cattle can be confusing and we still do not know all of the answers (see Illustration 1.). This factsheet will try to clarify some of the misconceptions associated with these conditions and discuss strategies for minimizing the horn and scur condition.

Horned feeder calves are not desirable; they are potential hazards for other cattle and the humans working them. For this reason calves with horns are discounted at the sale barn and even though scurs pose no danger to other cattle or humans they are still discounted by many buyers. To minimize these discounts beef producers attempt to use breeding techniques to generate polled cattle or physically dehorn/de-scur their calves. If you plan to breed for polled cattle it is important to understand the genetic action of the poll/horn gene, however, you will learn that avoiding horns is relatively easy, but avoiding scurs can be much more difficult.

This factsheet will describe the inheritance mode of the poll/horn gene and discuss what is known about the scur trait. Additionally, strategies for developing a breeding plan to eliminate horns and minimize scurs will be discussed.

Link To Article
 
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