So tiny! Why?

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J Hoy

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Just drop em off at my place. I'll post pics when I wean him.... 😀

And who checks a calf's bite when its born???
Well, everyone should if they can. Underbite on a calf will keep it from gaining weight properly because they can't graze efficiently after they are weaned. Underbite is pretty much epidemic in cattle and goats. Just type underbite domestic calves images on Google and lots of photos come up of all breeds of calves with underbite. The same if you do that with goats or horse foals, etc.
 

J Hoy

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BTW, I honestly can't tell if he has an underbite. Doesn't look like it up close or when he sucks my finger or nurses. I got nuthin'.
The way to check a bite is to lift the lips apart while the mouth is closed and see if the lower incisors contact the dental pad or are completely in front of the dental pad. On ruminants, like cattle, goats, sheep, etc. all of the lower incisors have to directly contact the dental pad a bit less than a quarter inch behind the front of the dental pad (on a little newborn) so that when the animal grows up and bites on foliage it will break off and then be eaten. If the grazing animal has an underbite, the grass or foliage slides out between the forward incisors and the front of the dental pad. I learned all that when I was about 8 years old in 4-H many years ago.
 

J Hoy

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The way to check a bite is to lift the lips apart while the mouth is closed and see if the lower incisors contact the dental pad or are completely in front of the dental pad. On ruminants, like cattle, goats, sheep, etc. all of the lower incisors have to directly contact the dental pad a bit less than a quarter inch behind the front of the dental pad (on a little newborn) so that when the animal grows up and bites on foliage it will break off and then be eaten. If the grazing animal has an underbite, the grass or foliage slides out between the forward incisors and the front of the dental pad. I learned all that when I was about 8 years old in 4-H many years ago.
I checked my files for fairly recent manganese studies and found this concerning manganese deficiency in beef calves - includes failure to thrive, inability to get up and follow the mother, and underdeveloped upper facial bones (Hansen et al., 2006)
 

wbvs58

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The way to check a bite is to lift the lips apart while the mouth is closed and see if the lower incisors contact the dental pad or are completely in front of the dental pad. On ruminants, like cattle, goats, sheep, etc. all of the lower incisors have to directly contact the dental pad a bit less than a quarter inch behind the front of the dental pad (on a little newborn) so that when the animal grows up and bites on foliage it will break off and then be eaten. If the grazing animal has an underbite, the grass or foliage slides out between the forward incisors and the front of the dental pad. I learned all that when I was about 8 years old in 4-H many years ago.
Exactly J Hoy yet you are diagnosing a bad bite without even handling the calf, just the perceived appearance to you in a photo.

Ken
 
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TCRanch

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Well, I let them join the herd and he's a little maniac, playing with the other calves until he's exhausted. Maybe wishful thinking, but mama seems to look better already.

I don't think he has an underbite, but will watch his progress and check them both out thoroughly in a couple weeks when we work the entire herd.

Thank you for the information and I will talk to my vet about additional calcium and possibly magnesium, at least for the calf. She does have access to mineral 24/7 specifically for my geographic area, including (this time of year) CTC.
 

MurraysMutts

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Well, I let them join the herd and he's a little maniac, playing with the other calves until he's exhausted. Maybe wishful thinking, but mama seems to look better already.

I don't think he has an underbite, but will watch his progress and check them both out thoroughly in a couple weeks when we work the entire herd.

Thank you for the information and I will talk to my vet about additional calcium and possibly magnesium, at least for the calf. She does have access to mineral 24/7 specifically for my geographic area, including (this time of year) CTC.
Nice to hear an update. So glad they are getting on good!
He looked like a rambunctious lil dude just looking for a place to make trouble!
😂
 

gcreekrch

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Well, I let them join the herd and he's a little maniac, playing with the other calves until he's exhausted. Maybe wishful thinking, but mama seems to look better already.

I don't think he has an underbite, but will watch his progress and check them both out thoroughly in a couple weeks when we work the entire herd.

Thank you for the information and I will talk to my vet about additional calcium and possibly magnesium, at least for the calf. She does have access to mineral 24/7 specifically for my geographic area, including (this time of year) CTC.
Glad for you, mine died at day six. Never did suck on its own and got a respiratory on top of that. He who has, must lose.
 
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TCRanch

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BTW I saw my vet today. Just based on my pics (of which I have many), he thinks the calf may have somewhat of an underbite, but nothing he would worry about. If it makes me feel better, he'll get me some calcium gel (doesn't recommend IV for my calf), but one 'n done isn't going to do much in the long term.

He may surprise me, but I really don't expect him to grow that much anyway. Plus, I have a friend that's already called dibs on him when he's weaned - solely as yard art & entertainment for the kids.:)
 

J Hoy

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Exactly J Hoy yet you are diagnosing a bad bite without even handling the calf, just the perceived appearance to you in a photo.

Ken
Ken, I have been doing studies on malocclusions on ungulates for 25 years, so I can tell a calf in a photo has an underbite if the lower incisors are permanently exposed or if the lower lip is obviously forward of the upper lip, opposite of how they are supposed to be. That is why I said the calf owner might want to lift the lips and check the bite, since the calf was where he could do that.
Glad for you, mine died at day six. Never did suck on its own and got a respiratory on top of that. He who has, must lose.
gcreekrch, sorry that your calf died. The lungs are another reason to check the bite on a newborn calf, especially those with other problems. On grazing animals I necropsied for our studies, the lungs were often inflamed or even had white/dead areas if the newborn had a severe underbite. That is why I got them to necropsy, so I could see if there was anything wrong with the internal organs. Also, quite a few had an underdeveloped or inflamed thymus and sometimes both issues. The thymus, being the main immune system organ on a newborn mammal, is very important to their health. By the way, I necropsied most species of wild and domestic ungulates, including equines.
 
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FarmerShell

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I'm really not familiar with dwarfism in cattle so I started Googling. Just based on what I read and the images, I'd say no. He's pretty long: legs, body & face. Essentially the same build as his sire - but itty bitty.

Oh wait is that's what's wrong with our cow Chevy? Seriously, this year's babies are bigger than her.
 

melissa39183

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One of my cows that I thought was open surprised me with a tiny, tiny bull calf last Friday (the 23rd). I seriously couldn't tell she was bred & was going to have her preg checked when we work them in May (just to be sure) before I shipped her. Calf was 38 lbs. and I initially had her due today (28th), so not a preemie. Plus, she was bred by our bull that's not a calving ease bull & his calves average around 85 lbs.

The cow is a little thinner than normal but still in good condition, only 5 years old and hasn't shown any signs of sickness. Temp is normal, great appetite, no coughing/drooling/snotty nose. Anaplas was my first thought, but her eyes, gums & vulva are nice and pink. She has had pretty loose stool, but she was also grazing new spring grass. She shouldn't be wormy, but I did go ahead & worm her with Cydectin. I've been keeping them at the barn, mainly to keep an eye on him, but he's active and has gained a good 5 lbs.

Any ideas what's going on with her? View attachment 4102View attachment 4103
Just a lbw calf. Will grow off fine. Most people want LBW bulls so the cows don’t have trouble.
 
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TCRanch

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Just a lbw calf. Will grow off fine. Most people want LBW bulls so the cows don’t have trouble.
That's the thing: the sire is definitely not a LBW bull and her previous calves were all good size, even as a heifer with a +16 calving ease bull. He turned a month old yesterday and he's probably up to 55-60 lbs. Doing great and a little pistol.
 

greybeard

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Well, I let them join the herd and he's a little maniac, playing with the other calves until he's exhausted. Maybe wishful thinking, but mama seems to look better already.

I don't think he has an underbite, but will watch his progress and check them both out thoroughly in a couple weeks when we work the entire herd.

Thank you for the information and I will talk to my vet about additional calcium and possibly magnesium, at least for the calf. She does have access to mineral 24/7 specifically for my geographic area, including (this time of year) CTC.
So maybe a case of the momma not being able to or failing to assimilate or metabolize (probably wrong word there) magnesium and/or mag, even tho mag is readily available to her?

Can't low mag cause low calcium?
Other than the possible underbite issue, did the calf's teeth look normally formed at birth.
 
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TCRanch

TCRanch

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So maybe a case of the momma not being able to or failing to assimilate or metabolize (probably wrong word there) magnesium and/or mag, even tho mag is readily available to her?

Can't low mag cause low calcium?
Other than the possible underbite issue, did the calf's teeth look normally formed at birth.
He was full term; teeth, everything looked normal. I have no idea if low mag can cause low calcium. Just a weird thing, all around. That said, he's doing great! And so is mama.
 

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