Underbite in calf - kill or keep??

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by prinellie, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. prinellie

    prinellie Member

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    This is our first Jersey calf. She has a slight underbite. In reading a cattle website, they say to not breed/keep this calf as the problem might get worse on down the line. Opinions?? And how do I deal with the dam/sire? We bought the mom a year ago, who is fine (and bought her 2016 calf which is fine also), but we used AI on her. Don't want to use more of this semen if it is possible it will throw another damaged calf. We are sick... we already love this little girl, but do not want to throw bad genes or deformed calves... :( Please share knowledge. Thanks.
     
  2. Jlynnp

    Jlynnp Well-Known Member

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    If you are not comfortable breeding her you could raise her and send her for freezer camp. If you could not use her that way you could also sell her to someone else who would.
     
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  3. cfuhrer

    cfuhrer Wood Nymph / Toxophilite

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    At our house - your mileage will vary - we would grow the 2017 calf out as "beef" for our freezer and *not* use that semen again.

    If the cow threw another underbite next year with different semen, she and the 2018 calf would be headed to the freezer.

    And - the 2016 calf would have a careful eye kept on her for the same propensity.
     
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  4. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    It's not cost effective to keep animals that have genetic problems.
    They aren't good for breeding and often end up costing more due to vet bills or lost production.
    Culling is the only way to build a herd that will provide the most for the least input.
     
  5. Lady89

    Lady89 Well-Known Member

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    breeds the best eat the rest is just a fact of farm life, but if you don't feel you can eat her your self then sell her on the meat market
     
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  6. MO_cows

    MO_cows I calls em like I sees em

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    Love that calf right up until you beef her. You can still enjoy her and treat her well, just remind yourself what her fate is from the start. Don't perpetuate a defect. If you are breeding you must do it responsibly. Backyard cattle that are not held to any standards other than how much the owners love them, are the bovine equivalent of a puppy mill. The old cliche is true, sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
     
  7. cfuhrer

    cfuhrer Wood Nymph / Toxophilite

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    It's a shame the equine world didn't heed that lesson decades ago.
     
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  8. farmerjan

    farmerjan Well-Known Member

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    You say slight underbite...how slight? Sometimes what we think of as underbite is nothing to worry with and maybe you are making it out to be more than it is. I wouldn't get panicky right away. I have seen them "grow into" some jaw problems and by the time they are a yearling, you would never know there was any question.m Plus the dam could be a recessive carrier and the sire you used could also, so the "damaged" calf could be as much the cows fault as the bull. We have a calf that has a "crooked nose"; had calves out of this cow before, used this bull for a couple of years. Don't know where it came from, it is a steer so no big deal, beef....we will watch the cow again but I think it could have been an environmental thing too....Give it a little time, and keep it in your mind that this calf may just be beef.
     
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  9. Maria

    Maria Well-Known Member

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    One of our newborn calves last year looked like he had an underbite, but as he got bigger, it disappeared.