Frosted Ear Calves

Cattle problems.
Post Reply
Farmer13
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:34 pm
Been thanked: 4 times

Frosted Ear Calves

Post by Farmer13 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:46 pm

I know there is going to be a lot of short eared calves that come to town this fall. Buyers usually want them $5/cwt under going market. I have been told that's because those calves could have foot issues from freezing that don't show up until they're fat cattle. Any truth to this or just something for them to ding you on?



User avatar
Silver
GURU
GURU
Posts: 2314
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 12:08 am
Location: BC Peace River country
Has thanked: 943 times
Been thanked: 949 times

Re: Frosted Ear Calves

Post by Silver » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:02 pm

Farmer13 wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:46 pm
I know there is going to be a lot of short eared calves that come to town this fall. Buyers usually want them $5/cwt under going market. I have been told that's because those calves could have foot issues from freezing that don't show up until they're fat cattle. Any truth to this or just something for them to ding you on?
Drives me nuts when calves with ears that are just barely tipped get docked. Just an excuse as far as I can see. But a calf with ears froze off short could have issues that show up later like in their hocks or lungs. But I generally keep my heifers with short ears and have never had a frost related problem so I get pretty bitter giving away good steer calves with short ears.

Luckiamute
Trail Boss
Trail Boss
Posts: 270
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:25 pm
Location: Oregon
Has thanked: 70 times
Been thanked: 50 times

Re: Frosted Ear Calves

Post by Luckiamute » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:53 pm

Farmer13 wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:46 pm
I know there is going to be a lot of short eared calves that come to town this fall. Buyers usually want them $5/cwt under going market. I have been told that's because those calves could have foot issues from freezing that don't show up until they're fat cattle. Any truth to this or just something for them to ding you on?
I have a 19-month-old heifer who lost the tips of both of her ears and she has great feet. No problems at all. I agree with Silver ... it is just an excuse to get your calves docked at sale time.

crimsoncrazy
Cowhand
Cowhand
Posts: 195
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:12 am
Location: Central Oklahoma

Re: Frosted Ear Calves

Post by crimsoncrazy » Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:39 am

Can be possible damage to their lungs as well that you can't see.

User avatar
TennesseeTuxedo
Mentor
Mentor
Posts: 15775
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:49 pm
Location: Live in Franklin, TN farm in Warsaw, KY
Has thanked: 1226 times
Been thanked: 1499 times

Re: Frosted Ear Calves

Post by TennesseeTuxedo » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:33 am

I retained a heifer several years ago for that same reason. She looks like a Panda Bear her ears are so short. So far so good with her as a cow.
Making Cattle Today Great Again!
Sometimes you do have to throw out the babies with the bath water.

Dave
GURU
GURU
Posts: 8780
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 1:35 pm
Location: Baker County, Oregon
Been thanked: 889 times

Re: Frosted Ear Calves

Post by Dave » Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:00 am

One spring I was at Toppenish (eastern Washington) and 5 frosted ear or tail heifers came in. A trader I know from the west side of the state bought them cheap. The very next day I was at Chehalis (western Washington). Those frosted ear heifers came through the ring. The climate there is warmer and you just never see frosted ear calves. Being in the spring the backyarders were there buying their one or two calves to fatten over the summer. They sold those heifers for over double what they brought in Toppenish.
One thing about a frosted ear cow. They seem to bring just as much as a kill cow as a cow with intact ears. Funny how that works. The packers must not have a big market for cow ears.

User avatar
TCRanch
GURU
GURU
Posts: 4710
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:21 am
Location: Winfield, KS
Has thanked: 1460 times
Been thanked: 677 times

Re: Frosted Ear Calves

Post by TCRanch » Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:52 am

Agree, as a general rule it's just a way to dock you. One year I had a steer with both ears tipped and a steer that lost half his tail. They were also 2 of my biggest steers and I still got docked. I have 2 cows with frostbit ears and zero health problems, raise nice healthy calves.

User avatar
holm25
Rancher
Rancher
Posts: 691
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:46 am
Has thanked: 150 times
Been thanked: 112 times

Re: Frosted Ear Calves

Post by holm25 » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:19 am

This lady has tiny little frost bite ears and she wears off our biggest calf every year. She has had 6 calves and zero health issues.


Image

elkwc
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1439
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:21 pm
Has thanked: 700 times
Been thanked: 114 times

Re: Frosted Ear Calves

Post by elkwc » Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:53 pm

The only justification I have had a feeder buyer tell me about frozen ears is it reduces the best area to implant. Buyers can find reasons to dock one so not sure if this is a legitimate reason or not.

Post Reply