Skip to main content Accessibility help

The inheritance and effect on production of polledness in four crossbred lines of beef cattle

  • J. E. Frisch (a1), H. Nishimura (a1), K. J. Cousins (a1) and H. G. Turner (a1)


Changes in the frequency of the poll gene and the effect of polledness on production were measured from 1970 to 1979 in four closed lines of crossbred cattle. The lines were Africander cross (AX), Braham cross (BX) and two Hereford × Shorthorn (HS lines, one selected for production (HSS) and one a control line (HSR).

Calves were classified as horned, polled or scurred. Except in the HSS line, horned males were more common than horned females. Horned HS bulls sired only horned calves when mated to horned cows but corresponding matings of AX and BX breeds produced some polled progeny. The incidence of scurs was highest in the AX line, lowest in the HS lines and higher in males than females. These observations are discussed in relation to existing models of inheritance of horn-type.

Prior to 1970 the frequencies of the poll gene declined from their initial values in the BX and HS lines and increased in the AX line. These changes were ascribed to random genetic drift. After 1970 the frequency of the poll gene remained stable in all lines.

No significant differences were observed between horned and polled cattle in live weight, fertility or mortality rates indicating that polledness had no detrimental effect on production in these lines.



Hide All
Bateson, W. and Saunders, E. R. 1902. Reports to the Evolutionary Committee of the Royal Society. Report No. 1 Harrison and Sons, London.
Buchanan Smith, A. D. 1927. The inheritance of horns in cattle. Some further data. J. Genet. 18: 365–.
Claringbold, P. J. 1961. The use of orthogonal polynomials in the partition of chi-square. Aust. J. Stat. 3: 48–.
Ensminger, M. E., Galgan, M. W. and Slocum, W. L. 1955. Problems and practices of American cattlemen. Washington Agric. Exp. Stn, Bull. No. 562.
Hancock, J. and Louca, A. 1975. Polledness and intersexuality in the Damascus breed of goat. Anim. Prod. 21: 227–.
Hewitt, A. C. T. 1969. Poll and polled cattle. J. Agric. Viet. Dep. Agric. 67: 210–.
Long, C. R. and Gregory, K. E. 1978. Inheritance of the horned, scurred and polled condition in cattle. J. Hered. 69: 395–.
Longland, J. M. 1976. Dystocia and mortality in polled Hereford bulls. Rep. Breed. Prod. Org. Milk Mtg Bd, No 26.
Marlowe, T. J., Freund, R. J. and Graham, J. B. 1962. Influence of age, breed, flesh condition, nursing and season on weight and grade of beef cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 21: 346354.
Mason, I. L. 1974. Genetics. In The Husbandry and Health of the Domestic Buffalo (ed. Cockrill, W. Ross). Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.
Meischke, H. R. C., Ramsay, W. R. and Shaw, F. D. 1974. The effects of horns on bruising of cattle. Aust. vet. J. 50: 432–.
Seebeck, R. M. 1980. Sysnova Version 9 Reference Manual. Tech. Pap., Commonw. sci. ind. Res. Org., Canberra. In press.
Snedecor, G. W. and Cochran, W. G. 1967. Arcsin transformation for proportions. In Statistical Methods. 6th ed., pp. 327329. Iowa State University Press, Ames, la.
Trail, J. C. M. and Sacker, G. D. 1966. Ankole Longhorn cattle growth rates, horn dimensions and effect of dehorning on liveweight gain, in Uganda. Trop. Agric, Trin. 43: 241–.
Vianna, A. T. and Joandet, R. 1978. The Canchim breed of Brazil. Wld Anim. Rev. 26: 34–.
White, W. T. and Ibsen, H. L. 1936. Horn inheritance in Galloway-Holstein cattle crosses. J. Genet. 32: 33–.
Williams, H. D. and Williams, T. 1952. The inheritance of horns and their modifications in Polled Hereford cattle. J. Hered. 43: 267–.
Winks, L., Holmes, A. E. and O'Rourke, P. K. 1977. Effect of dehorning and tipping on liveweight gain of mature Brahman crossbred steers. Aust. J. exp. Agric. Anim. Husb. 17: 16–.
Wythes, J. R., Strachan, R. T. and Durand, M. R. E. 1976. A survey of dystocia in beef cattle in southern Queensland. Aust. vet. J. 52: 570–.

The inheritance and effect on production of polledness in four crossbred lines of beef cattle

  • J. E. Frisch (a1), H. Nishimura (a1), K. J. Cousins (a1) and H. G. Turner (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed