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Tiny Little Calf

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randiliana

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So, we are custom calving some heifers. Mostly things have gone quite well with them. A few assists, but nothing too major. Yesterday we had this calf born. Didn't weigh it but I am guessing about 20 lbs. It was not premature and seemed pretty normally formed. Never got to its feet and we put it down. Heifer is a Red Brf (Angus x) and bulls were Black Angus. You can tell how tiny it is with its mama's head in the photo. Is this Fawn Calf?

DSC015801.jpg
 

Aladar

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more likely the result of single trait selection for low birthweight from bull the sire and dam side.

We quit using light birthweight bulls, went to culling the bulls kept for use in the commercial cowherd first on touches. If we need to assist at birth, to stand, to suckle, etc. They are automatically steers and go to the feedlot. It had a nice side benifit. We quit having to baby sit the cows and heifers during calving. They are checked at dark and again at daylight.
 

hillsdown

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I tend to agree with Aladar, the fawn calves I have seen and read about were
“tall and skinny” with contracture of the hocks, decreased range of motion of the limbs, particularly the hind, and kyphosis or scoliosis (malalignment of the spine). Calves are mentally alert, and stand and suckle normally.

That is very tiny though, and I thought my 61 lb lowest BW record breaker single or twin calf this year was little .

Hope the rest of the heifers have healthy calves for you Randi and all goes smoothly !
 

Big Muddy rancher

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I had one like that once and it was pretty lively. You could pick it up and put it under your arm. It did fine and summered with the rest of the herd. Guess it sold unless I put it in the replacement pen. :wink: :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

randiliana

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Our littlest was 42 lbs. It got up and going on its own. This one was going to take a whole lot of work, if it even mad the first few days. It was just off...
 

WB

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You did the right thing by putting it down. Hard to say why these things happen (genetic, congenital) but if you have more I would do some investigating.
 

4Diamond

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When I was in college our school farm had a bull calf that weighed 35. They kept it and eventually used it as a herd sire.
 

sic 'em reds

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That is not what "fawn calf" is when concerned with Angus genetics. Fawn calves have a bend to their legs which make it hard for them to stand, but it is also not a lethal defect.
 

Jake

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Had one last year, never did weigh it but it was born in an ice storm and when I went to pick it up in the middle of the night I grabbed and picked it up all in such a swift motion my jaw dropped. It couldn't have weighed 35-40. It never did incredibly well, pretty much a pud it's whole life.
 

gcreekrch

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randiliana said:
Our littlest was 42 lbs. It got up and going on its own. This one was going to take a whole lot of work, if it even mad the first few days. It was just off...


So, if this calf had the potential to be even 300 lbs this fall x $2.00 would you have knocked it in the head had it been your own?

Where there is a pulse there is hope.

I did put one down this year that was similar in size but had the crooked spine and stiff, crooked legs of a fawn calf. It was tubed with colostrum once and given a chance to warm up beside the heater in the basement. At 12 hours there was no sign of it wanting to live much longer so it was put out of it's misery.
Personally, I would have taken the time to try and save your calf and either told the owner to come and get it or charged them accordingly for your time.
 

randiliana

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If I (or DH) had thought the calf would have made something, we would have given it a try. We talked to the owner long before we did it in. He sure wasn't going to come get it. There was more wrong with the calf than just its size....
 

gcreekrch

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randiliana said:
If I (or DH) had thought the calf would have made something, we would have given it a try. We talked to the owner long before we did it in. He sure wasn't going to come get it. There was more wrong with the calf than just its size....

Fair enough, this post is more to the point than the first one.
 

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