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Yearling traveling sideways

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Well-known member
May 16, 2008
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I was feeding a large group of steers yesterday and noticed a straggler that was coming to the bunk walking sideways. It's rear was almost in front of it's head. When it would run it straightened up a bit.

I am curious if this was a "buller" injury or if it was caused by something else? The steers are on gluten and soyhull pellets and eating green grass.
Possible that it is grass tetany? They have had free choice mag mineral for 45 days.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
I don't know much about gluten, but there is sulpher in it and you
should feed a different kind of mineral because of that.
Good luck with him, I hope he gets better.

Be very interesting to find out what's going on with him.

I did find this from the OSU Extension website:

The concentration of crude protein is about as twice as high in corn gluten feed as it is in corn grain. The amino acid content of corn gluten feed is about two times higher than in corn, but relative concentrations of the amino acid are similar. Like corn, the quality of the protein (for example: low lysine) is poor. Corn gluten feed is low in calcium but has significant amounts of phosphorus. The calcium to phosphorus ratio is about 1:10. The desired ratio of feeding cattle is a minimum of 1.5-2 to 1 calcium to phosphorus. Therefore, corn gluten feed fed at high levels without calcium supplementation could result in urinary calculi problems. You will have to feed calcium levels above NRC minimum requirements if more than 1/3 of the diets is corn gluten feed. Trace mineral and vitamin levels can vary greatly from batch to batch.

So if your mineral is high in Phos, they probably aren't eating enough to
get their trace minerals (mag being a trace mineral) and you could
be looking at a winter tetnany type of thing. We had this happen to
a cow herd that was being fed straight wheat hay. They had some cows
go down because of winter tetnany. The wheat hay contains a lot of
phos and they weren't eating enough mineral to get their trace minerals
(phos being a limiter).
We had them go to a lower phos mineral which they ate. It balanced
their system and the cows quit going down.

We have a mineral with no phos (0%) that is recommended for cattle
being fed corn gluten.

Hope this helps!
Could be grass tetany and if it is a simple iv of mag would solve it. Get on it right away and you can save it with no problem, usually the younger the cattle the less affected by grass tetany. A bad inner ear infection can make them get off balance to.
Ticks? Rabies? Reported cases of rabies is high this spring in Kansas. You're in Missouri. We're already having problems with ticks.
Does that steer have a large abnormal looking forehead? Probably not you would have noticed that before now. My uncle had a bull calf like that and he only brought $300 at the sale barn and weighed around 600 lbs,they typed in "wobbles" on the statement with the check.
I think my uncles bull was out of the same herd and was too related to this calf's mother. :shock:
ve no idea what the probhlem is but you might try Hay Maker and find out what he takes when he gets to traveling that way. :wink:

Seriously, hope you can cure this one and prevent any more. :D
We had a yrlg steer do that a couple of years ago. Never was an apparent reason for it, none of his herd mates had any issues. All they ever had was good alfalfa and grass hay. It was the strangest thing watching him try to get somewhere. He fattened up good and tasted fine though.
I would assume it is not diet related, but more likely some kind of nerve damage from either an injury or an infection.
Definitely sounds neurological. I assume it's just one side, ie the calf travels with right (or left) side leading? If you approach on the leading side, is the calf able to step away or is the non-leading side only capable of following? Does he drag his hooves on the non-leading side or pick them up normally? A video would be helpful, and I can likely get a (real) answer for you with a video clip....

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