Friday, March 13, 2015
A calf with dental problems?
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.