Friday, March 13, 2015

A calf with dental problems?

I included this picture in my last blog entry, and I noticed the strange look on Henry's face at the time, but thought no more about it.  Henry, a steer, is on the left.  

That evening Cora's mom, who is a dental assistant, pointed out the problem:  "That calf has an underbite."  

I imagine her background with showing Shorthorn cattle as a youngster has as much to do with her noticing this anomaly as her dentist background.

She also mentioned that the calf was gritting his teeth, which he does quite a bit, so I'm guessing that has something to do with the badly aligned teeth.  

Later on I Googled "underbite in cattle" and found that it does, indeed, happen.  It can supposedly cause problems with a calf nursing, and later on, with grazing.  I can guarantee that he has NO problems nursing, and I imagine he will cope well enough with grazing;  it's amazing how hunger will motivate any creature to adapt to circumstances.  

Now, if it had been the heifer with this problem, I would be devastated, because who wants an ugly milk cow around for years?  It is a good lesson for me, though, because it's one more thing to watch for when I'm purchasing a baby calf.  It's something I'd rather not have around.  

As far as resale value, I pretty much have Henry marked for the freezer in a year anyhow, so it's probably no big deal.  And from now on, I will look more closely at the faces of my baby calves.



i think it makes him look sweet. The world would be a boring place if we were all the same.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I agree he is sorta cute ! Hopefully it will cause no problems !