TH/PHA Awareness

DO NOT assume that everyone knows the basics of TH/PHA.


Maybe it’s because I spend too much time in front of a computer but I figured there’s no way somebody who raises club calves couldn’t know the basics about TH/PHA.  However, I was at a meeting last week of a group of clubby breeders and the leader of the organization (a county extension agent) decided to do a presentation on TH/PHA because he had his first dead TH calf.


He’s been raising club calves for nearly a decade now and didn’t do much research on it until now, when he had his first dead calf from it.  He realized it because he used the Shorthorn bull of another gentleman who has raised steers just as long and didn’t know his sire is TH positive until now.


In what can only be described as a royal kick to my gut, he went to, printed their list, and called it a comprehensive list of all known TH/PHA carriers (a list that doesn’t even include Heat Wave and has less than half the information publicly available).


Some more interesting comments/questions/statements…


  • “Is the packer going to start testing our cattle and not accepting them if they test positive for TH?”
  • “One in four live calves out of two carrier parents will be carriers"
  • If you breed to clean bulls for eight generations you’ll be clean.
  • “I leased bulls from Lautner that were all positive for TH.  What does that mean for my replacement heifers from those bulls?”
  • Are the breed associations going to make us kill all of our carrier cattle?

Again, these are people that raise show steers.  I’m really not trying to dog on these guys, just illustrating that there is still quite a lack of knowledge about the subject out there.  Don’t think that just because this subject has been beaten like a rented mule that everyone knows about it.