Stunted Angus Steer

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Lilac

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Hi, I could use some help figuring out a meal plan for the steer I brought home a couple days ago.

A little bit of backstory: I’ve always found cows to be more beautiful than horses, especially cows/oxen that pull carts. So when I saw this little guy for sale I bought him. IF, and I mean IF he can grow strong enough I’m going to train him to pull a little carriage (2 wheel 1 person type).

Here are his stats: 1 yr old, purebred black angus. He does have a underbite. Currently is about 250-300lbs, NOT due to starvation or disease, he's current on vaccines and worming. This steer is just TINY! He is supposed to be standard sized but is currently the size of a great dane. He does not appear to be a dwarf. His size was a huge selling point for me. I basically got a miniature cow for 1/10 the price.

Now that he is the only cow I'd like to get him eating really well and filled out a little better. He was being fed grass hay. I've only had him 3 days and he is currently eating grass hay and 2nd cutting alfalfa. I know he has to get used to me (as of today I can approach him and he no longer moves away and when I kneel next to him he checks me out and I can pet him as much as I want). I went out and bought him some grain today (which he won't eat) and I cut up fruits and vegetables for him (watermelon, apples, potatoes, and carrots), which he also won't eat. The only thing that interests him is the alfalfa and the douglas fir needles on my trees.

And when I say interest him I mean he slowly eats the needles or the alfalfa. I thought he was just shy at first but now I can't tell if there is something else going on with him. He seems to have imprinted on my guard mare and vice versa. But aside from sticking closely to her he really exhibits NO personality. I think one explanation for this is he probably feels pretty crappy and I think a healthy diet would help him feel better. He does have healthy bowel movements and hasn't exhibited any signs of stress with the change of properties. Do steers just have less personality than bulls or heifers???

I grew up with beef and dairy cows but its been almost 20 years since I spent time with cattle and we never owned any working cattle.

I own all sorts of animals now and I've never had a problem getting an animal to eat before. This is very frustrating. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you!
 

SBMF 2015

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Was he in with cattle before? He may be just getting used to his new home. I would keep him away from the pine trees. Give him some probiotics and some Vit B to see if you can perk his appetite.
I would get him another bovine friend.
Are you sure he's a year old? Sometimes you get one that just doesn't grow.
 
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Lilac

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Was he in with cattle before? He may be just getting used to his new home. I would keep him away from the pine trees. Give him some probiotics and some Vit B to see if you can perk his appetite.
I would get him another bovine friend.
Are you sure he's a year old? Sometimes you get one that just doesn't grow.
The small homestead I bought him from had him on a dry lot with the other heifers and steers that were born at the same time as him. All the others were standard sized angus and the right size for their age (also his half siblings). I also got to see his sire and dam. I believe the age is correct, the family were very thorough when telling me about him and all their other cows.

I poo/branch pick everyday and I rake the douglas fir needles once a week, but my 2 longest property lines have HUGE douglas firs the entire length. This spring my property is going to be clear cut and I'm redoing all my pastures and paddocks, but until then I'm stuck with the trees. I've NEVER owned an animal that wanted to eat the needles so I really didn't anticipate this was going to be a problem.

My horses are currently on my property but they will be going to a boarding facility Feb. 1, after that I would LOVE to start looking for a bovine companion for him. My only concern is his lack of personality. Hopefully he comes out of his shell. I don't want to start looking for a companion until I know he can handle himself.

Honestly I want him to stay on the smaller side. I just want to see more muscle on him. He definitely didn't get the best of the hay when pastured with the other cows his age. When I went to see him he was by himself eating the muddy hay that blew through the fence line from the adjoining pasture.

I'll start the probiotics and vitamin B tomorrow!
 
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Lilac

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Possibly he is not able to eat well with the underbite.
What kind of grain have you offered him? "IF" he starts eating any grain, be sure to keep it at 1% of his body weight at first, slowing increasing.
Possibly he is an Angus Lowline - now called American Angus.
Post a picture.
I checked his mouth out today, the under bite is mostly cosmetic. And I actually got him to eat grain today. I mixed alfalfa leaves into it/covered the grain with alfalfa and he just kept eating until he got to the bottom of the bucket. The amount would've been .5% of his body weight. I was thinking I should split it into 2 feedings (morning and night)?

I'll have to research lowline angus. I've never heard of them before. And I'll try to take some pics tomorrow in the light.
 

Hpacres440p

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I checked his mouth out today, the under bite is mostly cosmetic. And I actually got him to eat grain today. I mixed alfalfa leaves into it/covered the grain with alfalfa and he just kept eating until he got to the bottom of the bucket. The amount would've been .5% of his body weight. I was thinking I should split it into 2 feedings (morning and night)?

I'll have to research lowline angus. I've never heard of them before. And I'll try to take some pics tomorrow in the light.
Even a Lowline should be well above 2-300 lbs at that age. You probably either have a very poor doer or something with maybe some dwarfism-especially with an underbites
 

TLM1988

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Was he in with cattle before? He may be just getting used to his new home. I would keep him away from the pine trees. Give him some probiotics and some Vit B to see if you can perk his appetite.
I would get him another bovine friend.
Are you sure he's a year old? Sometimes you get one that just doesn't grow.
What do pine trees do?
 

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