Bloat is a metabolic disorder in ruminants caused by the retention of gas in the stomach. Gas is produced continuously by microbial fermentation in the rumen and when an animal is uBable to eructate, excess gases, due to a stable foam in the rumen, bloat develops. Pasture bloat occurs as a result of grazing lush pasture, and in particular, legumes such as clovers and lucerne.

The literature on bloat in cattle was reviewed by Clarke § Reid (1974). These authors concluded that bloat susceptibility, might be an inherited trait. A preliminary requirement for breeding high (HS) and low susceptible (LS) cattle is a repeatable grading system for measuring the severity of bloat in the field. However, owing to the day to day and seasonal variability of bloat and the practical difficulties of selecting animals on the basis of their field gradings, Cockrem (1975) proposed a physiological genetics approa'ch to breeding HS and LS animals, where cattle were selected on the basis of measurable biochemical or physiological parameter(s). This approach to animal^selection could avoid high environmental variation in the phenotype of the trait’.

J.T. McIntosh, F.R.M. Cockrem

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 7. Symposia (1), , 385-389, 1982
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