All posts by Cindi Darling

I am the owner of Liar's Lake Exotics in Sparta, Missouri. I've been raising Watusi since 1984. Visit us at

Fall meetings


We are having our fall sale and meetings in conjunction with the Lolli Bros. Exotic animals sale in Macon, Missouri.   The Board of Directors will meet 4:00 pm Wednesday September 20th at the Macon Comfort Inn Breakfast Room.

The membership meeting will be at 7:00 pm at the Round House Community Room 1402 South Missouri Street in Macon same day. We will have dinner a meeting and our Fun Auction.  See you all there.

Genetic Defects, Abnormalities, Sports And Broken Genes

We want to thank Darol Dickinson for his ongoing contributions to our knowledge base.


Dickinson Cattle Co, LLC

Genetic Defects, Abnormalities, Sports And Broken Genes

The good and bad in a registered herd.

DCC Ranch e-News #296 – 1-02-23

by Darol Dickinson

Abnormalities are present in all species, including virtually all breeds of cattle. Some abnormalities can be identified visually because of the obvious differences between a normal animal and an abnormal one. Abnormalities in cattle may be caused by a variety of factors, including the environment, infectious agents and genetic mutations. Environmental factors, such as toxic plants, can cause an abnormal calf. Likewise, infectious agents (such as bacteria, viruses and fungi) may result in an abnormal calf. The following data relates to those abnormalities that are pathological (disease) conditions of genetic origin. These types of abnormalities have come to be known as “genetic defects.” Genetic defects include an impairment of health or a condition of abnormal function, due to a broken or mutated gene. Before designating a condition a genetic defect, it is important to give consideration to environmental and infectious possibilities.

The American Angus Association currently recognizes numerous genetic defects. These defects may result in either increased mortality, increased morbidity, decreased production, and/or decreased ability to market cattle. As such, their unchecked presence in the population is undesirable. The most known include Dwarfism, Osteopetrosis, Double Muscling, Syndactyly (mule foot), Arthrogryposis Multiplex, and Heterochromia Irides. Although these defects are undesirable, some of the most sought after Angus genetics are proven to possess these traits. When these defective traits are out-crossed to unrelated or non defective genetics their frequency can be managed to zero.

From a more scientific view, mutation, the process which produces errors during copying of DNA, is a fact of genetics. It is unavoidable and unfixable. This means that every calf born in all herds carries approximately 30 mutations that originated in the sperm and egg that created the calf. Only 3% of an animal’s DNA codes proteins, so most of these 30 mutations do not affect genes. But, a small number of these mutations will be within a gene and the protein coded by that gene will no longer function normally.

They sometimes refer to these genes which carry a loss of function mutation as broken genes. This means new broken genes are added to the pool of existing broken genes in the population every calving season. The mutations responsible for these broken genes usually disappear from the population simply due to random chance. Occasionally a mutation will rise to higher frequency and will be passed down through generations often as a result of inbreeding. Most of these broken genes carry recessive mutations; this means that two copies of the broken gene must be inherited for the animal to be affected. When only one copy of a recessive mutation is inherited from one parent the animal is normal because it uses the functioning copy inherited from the other parent. Many of these unusual scientific happenings are not documented or even noticed by the owners.

Seven days after cows are mated, 90 + – % of the matings result in pregnancies. But, when we observe cows 45 days after the mating, only 60 to 70% of the cows are still pregnant. Cows are aborting about 20% of the pregnancies during the first 45 days. While handling and nutrition influence these pregnancy losses, genetics also play a role. Twin pregnancies increase the abortion percentages.

On average, an animal will inherit 100 broken genes from its parents. Of these, 20 are lethal, meaning if two copies are inherited the embryo dies during pregnancy, usually early in Mutation, the process which produces errors during copying of DNA happens, and always will.

Double Foot Defomity

Researchers at the University of Missouri, along with collaborators from the University of California-Davis, Oklahoma State University, Delta G, and University of New England, have sequenced the entire DNA of 254 bulls. Using this DNA sequence information, they can identify DNA variants that could possibly lead to broken genes and embryonic losses. From this data they have identified 4,821 possible variants, of which 347 are within genes shown to be essential for life in mouse or human. To validate whether or not these DNA variants are responsible for embryonic losses, they will test these variants in 10,000 heifers. If they never observe an animal carrying two copies of a variant then they have strong evidence that the variant is a recessive lethal and causes embryonic losses. We can then create a DNA test (i.e. genomic prediction) for embryonic loss and measure how many broken genes an animal carries. And, what you can measure, you can manage.

Jon Beever PhD, of the Urbana, IL, Department of Animal Sciences has made a life study of genetics, genomics and bioinformatics. He was contacted by the BueLingo Beef Cattle Society when a member had concerns about an unusual defect found in his herd. Semen from historic foundation sires was provided with hundreds of hair samples from most major BueLingo herds. After thousands of DNA tests were preformed at U of IL, all defects traced back to a bull named Chilingo who was sired by an imported Italian Chianina sire named Yuma. A certain percentage of his progeny were also PMT (Congenital Pseudomyotona) yet as the PMT genetics blended into non PMT genetics it was diluted to minimal effect. Although originally thought to be a problem that would tarnish the breed, data of registered BueLingo during 2014 revealed 791 tested PMT free — 71 PMT carriers — 1 PMT affected and 3 pending inconclusive. Now that the one origin was identified the carrier, and PMT affected animals can be removed from the herd or carefully mated to PMT free animals and the issue of concern will be history.

In certain breeds identified broken genes are from the most popular performance genetics. Rather than destroy highly productive genetics the out-crossing away from inbreeding allows the qualities to remain and the defects to be eliminated.

How can cattle breeders manage these unique genes? There are a couple of strategies. First, once a DNA test is available, breeders can select the animals with the fewest number of broken genes. Secondly, breeders can research pedigrees to ensure they never mate carriers of the same genetic defect. Each of these strategies will reduce embryonic losses, while not removing important, high quality animals from the population.

In the case of a “genetic forward bounce” a Mutation or Sport may be the greatest thing a breeder could ever wish for. As the DNA of two parents separates into a concoction of various new attributes in the resulting offspring, there can be a person, horse, bovine or plant that as Webster says, “is a sudden variation in some inheritable characteristic of an animal or plant.” A Sport is an organism that is the exact 100% DNA of the direct sire and dam, yet a “sudden variation” from other full or half siblings. This mutation change is the source of every excelling species — of every breed leading virtue. In this respect, the genetic bounce forward is the mutation every breeder lives to appreciate.

The most understood mutation can be traced back to the first polled cattle. The polled mutation factor was line-bred to produce Angus, and all the current polled breeds. Mutations can be profitable or a physical disaster — you decide!

In certain breeds identified broken genes are from the most popular performance genetics. Rather than destroy highly productive genetics the out-crossing away from inbreeding allows the qualities to remain and the defects to be eliminated. These highly profitable genetics can continue to be profitable with correct understanding and management. The most famous defect in the Quarter Horse industry is Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis (HYPP) This is a natural mutation identified in the famous stallion Impressive but never identified in any of his sire or dam’s progeny. The HYPP mutation was only found in Impressive and certain of his progeny. Although Quarter Horse breeders were quite well aware of HYPP and it’s hereditary influence, his genetics continued and more World Champion Halter horses came from this line than any in history. It became a manageable mutation and thousands of Impressive progeny were not affected.

Thanks to data provided by the American Angus Assn. Dr. Jon Beevers, University of Illinois, Jared Decker, University of Missouri, Trails Magazine, University of California-Davis, Oklahoma State University, University of New England and Buelingo World Magazine.

Dickinson Cattle Co., LLC

American Royal Watusi Show 2022


For the first time the World Watusi Association has participated in the American Royal Livestock Show in Kansas City, Missouri.  Our event was on October 9, 2022.  Over 50 head were entered, the following were awarded Grand and Reserve Champion status this year.

SHOWMANSHIP:  Blake Edwards, Red Hill Watusi, Fairview, Oklahoma with Red Hill Girlie Sue, 2017 Native Pure Cow

Red Hill Girlie Sue - Grand Champion Showmanship cow and Grand Champion Native Pure cow - also with Blake Edwards and Judge
Red Hill Girlie Sue – Grand Champion Showmanship cow and Grand Champion Native Pure cow – also with Blake Edwards and Judge

BSCC PHARAOHS LEGACY, Grand Champion Foundation Pure Bull


FOUNDATION PURE BULLS: Grand Champion, BSCC Pharaoh’s Legacy, 2020 Foundation Pure Bull;  Reserve Champion,  BSCC Tafari Storm , 2022 Foundation Pure Bull both shown by BS Cattle Company, Seminole, Oklahoma

BSCC Tafari Storm, Reserve Champion Foundation Pure Bull
BSCC Tafari Storm, Reserve Champion Foundation Pure Bull

 FOUNDATION PURE COWS:  Grand Champion, Red Hill Barbie Blaze, 2017 Foundation Pure Cow, shown by Red Hill Watusi, Fairview, Oklahoma;  Reserve Champion, RGR Lucky Lady, 2020 Foundation Pure Cow, shown by BS Cattle Company, Seminole, Oklahoma

Red Hill Barbie Blaze, Grand Champion Foundation Pure cow and Champion Cow Calf
Red Hill Barbie Blaze, Grand Champion Foundation Pure cow and Champion Cow Calf


RGR Lucky Lady, Reserve Champion Foundation Pure Cow

NATIVE PURE FEMALES:  Grand Champion, Red Hill Girlie Sue 2017 Native Pure Female, shown by Red Hill Watusi, Fairview, Oklahoma; Reserve Champion,  Liars Lake PITA, 2019 Native Pure Female shown by Liars Lake Sparta, Missouri.

Liars Lake PITA, Reserve Champion Native Pure Heifer
Liars Lake PITA, Reserve Champion Native Pure Heifer

STEERS:  Grand Champion, Red Hill Pip Squeak, 2021 steer, shown by Red Hill Watusi, Fairview, Oklahoma;  Reserve Champion, Liars Lake Reynaldo, 2022 steer, shown by Liars Lake Sparta, Missouri.

COW CALF PAIRS:  born 2017 and before : 1st Place;  Red Hill Barbie Blaze, 2017 Foundation Pure Cow, shown by Red Hill Watusi, Fairview, Oklahoma;  2nd Place DH Meadow, 2016 Native Pure cow shown by BS Cattle Company, Seminole, Oklahoma;  Born 2018 or after1st Place, BSCC Sparkle T, 2019 Foundation Pure cow;   2nd place,Liars Lake Starmist, 2018 Native Pure cow, shown by Liars Lake Sparta, Missouri.


Fall Election Update

Our ballots are in the mail.  Please return to the CPA in the self addressed envelope.  We only received 3 nominees for this election, besides the incumbents that were running for re-election.  Two of the three new nominees were not eligible to run as they had not been active members for two years, we are hoping they will try next fall.  This only left us with three candidates, Brian Sims of Seminole, Oklahoma; Pat Burnett of Wills Point, Texas and Garett Judd of Edmunton, Kentucky.  In addition to your ballot on the election we have enclosed a proposed By-Law change regarding the issue of elections when we only have the number of candidates running equilavent to the open positions.  Please include your vote on this matter and return it with your ballot. If you have any questions please feel free to contact any Board Members.  Results will be announced at our Fall membership meeting On September 21, 2022, in Macon, Missouri.

We had an unfilled opening in this cycle as Matt Moffatt of Piedmont, Oklahoma choose not to run for another term due to time constraints.  Matt has been a valuable member of our Association and Board of Directors for many years and will be greatly missed.  Serving our Association is an unpaid volunteer position and we all wish to thank Matt for his service.


Spring is in the air and the calves are comimg.  We would be happy to hellp you brag.  Just submit your photos or information to the website or send them to Cindi at  If they are for sale we can publish the price if you desire.


Spring Fling

With all that is going on in the world Spring is sneaking up on us quickly.  The World Watusi Association is planning our annual “Spring Fling” in conjunction with the exotic animal sale at the Lolli Bros in Macon, Missouri.  Our get-together is scheduled for April 6, 2022 at  7:00pm in the conference room of the Comfort Inn, 1821 North Street, Macon, Missouri, 660-385-8000.   Dinner will be available.  The Watusi Cattle are scheduled to sell on Thursday, April 7 after the 9:00am Buffalo sale.  Hurry to consign your animals at

If you have any items that you would like to donate to our ‘Fun Auction’ bring them to the meeting.  See you all there.

The meeting of the Board of Director’s will be held in the same location at 4:00 Wednesday prior to the get-together.


comfort inn2 lolli-barn

Elections for WWA Board of Directors

It is that time of year again when we decide on our Board of Directors for the World Watusi Association.   Each director serves a term of three years and then the position is available again for nomination and election.

This year the positions of Veron Base, Duane Gilbert and Garett Judd are up.  Garret who has seved well as a board member and as Vice-Presdent of the Association has decided that he will not be able to serve another term at this time so his term will expire in September of this year.  We have all been fortunate to have Garett’s energy and enthusiasm shared with the Association and wish him the best in his future endeavors. Vernon and Duane have agreed to run again.   The nominating committee for this year is comprised of; Chairman Pat Burnett, 903-288-3334\; and Brian Sims,  405-229-1862  and Barry Retchkoff, 563-.663-0840  Anyone that might be interested in running this year please contact one of these committee members.  Most of our Board meetings are conducted by teleconference and two in person meeting in Macon, Missouri in conjunction with the Lolli Bros. exotic sale.  We have attached our Questionnaire in this post for your use.   Candidate quest 

Nominations must be postmarked or received by email on or before July 1, 2021.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact any member of the committee or the Board.

Spring Updates

At our spring 2021 get-together and board meeting several items have been modified.    We want to expand our reach out for scholarship applicants.  Anyone that has high school juniors or seniors in their life heading for college or connections to an FFA, 4H or other agriculture  programs that might be interested in Watusi should check out our program.

Bull registration rules:  “All bulls, Foundation Pure or Native Pure, must be registered by the breeder or the owner of the dam at the time of birth.  Priivate or farm sales of bulls are eligible for registration by breeder and transfer into new owner’s name at time of registration.   Any bull being sold at an auction sale must be accompanied by the hard copy of the registration papers or access to it.  Bulls cannot be sold at auction on application for registration with the exception of calves less than 60 days of age being sold at the dam’s side. Any bull calves sold at auction at dam’s side must be registered with 30 days of sale.”

We will be posting our completed updated Rules on this website in the future.

Spring Get-Together

The Lolli Bros Exotic Animals sale in Macon, Missouri is scheduled for April 7 through the 9th.  Watusi will sell on Thursday April 8, 2021.

The World Watusi Association will hold a Spring Get-Together in the meeting room of the Macon Comfort Inn at 7:00pm on Wednesday April 7, 2021.  We will have a catered meal, a fun auction (feel free to bring your checkbooks and items to donate) and lots of good company.

Our Board of Director’s will hold the spring meeting at 4:00pm in the same room.  Any items of concern or discussion  should be brought to either meeting.  We will be looking forward to seeing you all at the festivities.