If one of your cows or heifers has an abnormal-looking calf, the ICBF wants you to fill out the online survey to report it.

This is because the it is working towards creating a database of animals with potential genetic defects.

According to the ICBF, many congenital defects have a genetic basis which can be identified and possibly tested for.

“If you have a calf born with a defect we would like you to take a few minutes to fill out a quick online survey to let us know what is going on. If the animal falls into the defects we are targeting this year, we may ask for a hair or tissue sample.

“All other queries will be recorded in the database so that we can begin to identify sires that produce animals with defects and keep them in mind for future sequencing projects,” it says.

You can find the survey for recording congenital defects on the ICBF website.

According to the ICBF the survey is composed of questions which will help it identify what defects are most prevalent.

“We also request pictures of the defective calf which can be shared with veterinarians for possible diagnosis and also to be used as a training tool for future reporting. We request that at least one photos is a fully body shot with the animal’s tag visible in the photo for size comparison and also so we can link the photos to your survey results with the tag number.”

The ICBF is asking farmers to email photos directly to [email protected] after you’ve filled out the survey.

Once sent to ICBF, any farm identifiers will be obscured in the photos protecting the identity of the farmer submitting the photos. The ICBF says if you need an official diagnosis, you will need to send the calf to a regional veterinary lab because it is not equipped to do so.