Calf with Notched Ears

Notched Ears in Dexter Cattle

April 7, 2012

in Articles

by Gabriella Nanci

Calf with Notched Ears

Calf with Notched Ears. In this case, the notched trait could be followed through five generations.

Notched ears are known to appear in Dexter Cattle and other related breeds, such as Scottish Highland and maybe Ayrshire. It is generally considered part of their heritage. The notches are apparent at birth, and have no impact on the health or productivity of the animal. There have been very conflicting reports on the trait’s mode of inheritance. I think this is because of cases where the notches are so small, and the ears so fuzzy, people do not realize the animals have notches, making the trait appear to skip generations. In the admittedly limited number of Dexters we have tracked with this trait, it appears to be a single gene co-dominant trait, with heterozygous animals expressing a lesser form than homozygous animals.

There is clearly a range of notching degree in these likely heterozygous animals, from a small notch hardly felt, to a notch about one inch deep into the ear. We have only seen three animals (two in photographs) that we feel were homozygous. In these cases, both parents had notched ears, and the calves had deep notches that made the ears look like tulips.

Return to Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


HTML tags are not allowed.


Previous post:

Next post: