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Breeding polled cattle is a non-invasive way to dehorn the cattle population. Nonetheless, the beef industry is making steady progress towards dehorning through genetics.Producers may resist breeding strategies to dehorn because of a belief that the polled gene is associated with impaired productivity.They grow from a unique area of skin cells at the base of the horn.At about two months of age, horns become attached to the frontal bone of the skull.Neil Anderson, a lead veterinarian with Ontario Ministry of Agriculture looks at the benefits and practice of disbudding and dehorning of calves.Horns are the pairs of hard, bonelike, permanent growths projecting from the heads of cattle.Dehorning of horned cattle is the process of removal of their horns or the process of preventing their growth.A polled animal is one that grew no horns or one that was dehorned.

As the horn grows and attaches to the skull, this frontal sinus joins into the adjacent portion of the horn.Therefore, dehorning is a common management practice on dairy farms.In Ontario, housing systems and milking parlours are designed for dehorned cattle.Although the gene for polled has not been identified, its position and markers near it are known.Five markers seem to be close enough to provide 90 per cent accuracy of the polled or horned characteristic being inherited by a calf.

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