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KayDee Gilkey Brisket Disease A Concern for InterMountain West
by KayDee Gilkey, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: July 04, 2017

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Brisket Disease is a big concern throughout the InterMountain West for any ranchers who uses have high altitude summer pastures. Colorado State University Animal Scientist, Dr. Mark Enns says that for ranchers wanting to improve their herds with outside genetics — up until several years ago there was no way to quickly discover whether a possible AI sire or young bull might have a problem with brisket disease. Dr. Enns says CSU has done extensive research to determine what the genetic influence is on this disease.

Enns:“Heritability runs from about .35 to about .46 very much like birth weight. A lot of genetic contribution to whether an animal is susceptible to this problem or not. That was exciting from the standpoint of maybe we can make some improvement in how we breed animals for high elevation. So we have worked with a number of breeders in our CSU Beef Improvement Center near Saratoga Wyoming to actually compile a data base to calculate EPDs for pulmonary arterial pressure. We are able now to take individual animals put it into our system that we have here at CSU and actually calculate EPDs to help breeders select animals that they might use in their program — specifically bulls that result in progeny that have a lower susceptibility to high altitude disease — that is in the initial stages but we have been starting to calculate those.”

There has also some similar issues with cattle in feedlots with later-term feedlot death where nearly finished cattle die of heart failure. CSU is also working on establishing a possible link between these two diseases.

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