Calf popping back hips & twisted front legs

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May 7, 2016
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Hi i have a 24 hour old heifer calf. Her front legs are turned, twisted in. The right leg is turned so the bottom of the hoof is pointing toward the left. Also her back hips pop when she stands or walks. She cant walk very well yet, or very far. We gave her clostrum, because she hadnt nursed the cow. We are bottle feeding her because yesterday she couldnt even stand, and didnt want the coyotes to get her. She was born in the field No Assistance. Any Idea's? Thank you.
We had one similar to that. She could hardly walk and the mother had a hard time taking care of her. We left her go and she soon straightened out. We believe that it was genetics that caused this as the mothers next calf had the same problem.
We had one this year like that. Her front legs were so bowed out that it looked like a scissor jack from the front. She sorta crawled and scrunched along and tried to get up. She did manage to get to the cows' teats and nursed, and god bless the cow, she stuck with her. The vet said it was a tendon/ligament problem, and sometimes is environmental or nutritional, and could be genetic, but since she was the only one there was no real reason for it that anyone could see. She has pretty much grown out of it now, she is about 4 months old. There is still some evidence of it in the one front leg/foot, but she gets around and plays with the other calves pretty much. I wouldn't have given you $10. bucks for her and was honestly ready to put her down. The cow had a normal calf last year. So we will wait and see. She is not one we will keep , unless she has an obvious limp that would discount her too much in price. Then she will go with the couple of odd ones that will be freezer beef for someone. Have one that only has one eye, and two that are blue speckled and we would take a beating on them at the market.

If you have the patience, and can get the cow into a small field or pen, with her, there is a good chance she will "grow into" it and it will straighten up with time. Especially if it is a tendon/ligament weakness like ours was. Watch the cow the next time and if it happens again, ship them both when the time comes. If she can get up a little, enough to nurse, then she may very well do okay. If she shows any effects from it, she can always be your beef for the year. Better than no calf off the cow.

The popping sounds are from the joints not being held in the right position from the weak tendons and ligaments, and the bones not being in alignment. Normally it will improve with a little time.
Thank you, MRR Herfords & FarmerJan! For the informative articles. That's encouraging reading how yours turned out. Our little heifers doing better! Her legs arent quite as twisted. Only time will tell now....
You might want to give her a shot of BoSe . It's e & selenium, from the vet. Low selenium areas also can cause some lack of muscle strength and the front feet often knuckle over at the first joint. Since it's vitamins, it won't hurt her. We are in a selenium poor area and make sure there is plenty in the mineral mixes.
you could always try to make some braces for her legs to help her walk until she builds some more strength.

I did that to a few sheep and it did wonders.
She is up and walking now! Her hips still pop part time. She has a good appetite, she's drinking 2quarts 2 times a day.
Glad your calf is doing better. I had a issue a few years ago with calves having buckled feet when born . They would walk on the front of the ankle so to speak. 10 out of 50 turned out like that .. also had a few cows retaining placenta . Stopped by and the vet told me it was a mineral problem. He ask if I put out free choice mineral . Which I always have. I didn't really pay attention but they really didn't like the mineral I was using and would not eat much of it . I changed and the next year I didn't have the problem. I do notice very few of the cows still don't eat the mineral . they get redish tint on their shoulders..those cows and the bull get multi min at first worming in the spring . Doc also said sometimes calves are just deformed kinda like human babies. But most of that will correct itself before 6 months of age.

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