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Blind calfs

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:40 am
by Ky cowboy
My grandad had his 2nd calf in 3 years born completely blind. He only has 8 or 9 cows so this is a very small sample group. He doesnt put out mineral or salt just hay in the winter grass in the summer. I've read about vitamin a deficiency could cause it. Is there anything else that could potentially be the cause.

I use to buy and keep mineral out for his cows but cant afford to take care of someone else's cows.

Re: Blind calfs

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:16 am
by Dsth
My first thought when I read your post was that it may be hereditary. Do you know if both calves are from same cow family? A short phone call to your local vet or nutritionist would answer a lot of your questions. I would think no mineral would cause more problems with breeding and other developmental conditions, but am by no means an expert on that. I feel that it should not be your responsibility to keep mineral available for your grandad's cows. Hope he is able to provide them with a good home.

Re: Blind calfs

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:57 am
by Ky cowboy
I know they are from different bulls. And the cows are fat as ticks. His calves always look better then anyone's around just on grass and milk. I'll have to check and see if they're out of same cow,

Re: Blind calfs

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:31 pm
by 76 Bar
After decades of raising cattle I had a calf born blind several years ago. Cow was in good condition/no exposure to toxic substances and a long time exemplary herd health & mineral program. Veterinarian was as puzzled as I.

Re: Blind calfs

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:16 pm
by regolith
sometimes it's genetics, sometimes toxins, sometimes just random. I had one several years ago born with one eye out of an 11 year old cow, her other calves had all been fine.