Congenital anomalies occur during the development of living beings in the womb. The causes are very diverse. Factors originating from the environment, such as infectious agents or high fever, but also genetic factors, i.e. changes in the genetic material, can lead to congenital malformations (anomalies) in newborn calves. Often malformed calves are not viable or are aborted, causing high losses to the farmer, or the calves die soon after birth.
Until now, there has been no systematic survey of congenital anomalies for cattle, as has been practiced for pigs for more than 15 years. Recent evaluations of the Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics on congenital anomalies in pigs show that breeding programs based on such surveys lead to a very significant decrease in the frequency of congenital anomalies and thus can successfully select against congenital anomalies without compromising breeding for performance traits.
In cattle, many different congenital anomalies are known, which makes a systematic survey difficult. However, research at our institute in recent years has shown that certain malformations also occur more frequently in cattle and that the causes for their occurrence are still poorly understood.
For this reason, we have initiated a study on the occurrence and inheritance of congenital anomalies in cattle, which will be evaluated as part of a dissertation.
By reporting the cases, you can help to clarify the causes of these congenital anomalies in order to use this knowledge to reduce the occurrence of these anomalies. All reports will be treated confidentially and will not be passed on to third parties.