Cow with no ears

JadeFarms

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This is a cow that my neighbor has, he breeds cows and has fortunately kept this cow for a few years. I tamed her down and she is an amazing cow, but she has always had no ears. I am kinda curious at to why she has no ears, she has had 3 babies and should soon have her fourth. All her babies have had ears. I just thought it was odd and quite cool that she has no ears.
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farmerjan

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The first picture looked like she had short ears, and frostbite is a common thing in certain areas. We even have some calves get frostbitten ears here in Va if the cold weather and windy, wet conditions are just right. Often it happens if a calf doesn't get cleaned off fast enough, the wet fluid on the ears will freeze while momma is trying to get the calf cleaned off...

But the second picture doesn't even show a little sticking out so I would say more likely a genetic defect. You will see it with some calves born without tails, and it can be a cause of breeding problems in the future. They are also discounted as they have no way to help keep the flies away in the summer, especially when they are on feedlots.

I would say that the neighbor kept her because she was out of a good producing family so she was worth giving a chance.
There is one other possibility. Don't know where you are located, but in areas where predators are a big problem, there have been cases of coyotes, wolves and other large predators, attacking and actually tearing or chewing off the ears.

:frow:welcomeWelcome to BYH . If possible, could you put in your area or state so that we have a general idea of where you are. Sometimes it helps to tailor answers to your specific area.... and we all like to know the general area everyone is in so we can sympathize with the heat or the cold, or just tease you for having such a perfect place!!!!!:thumbsup
 

JadeFarms

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I live in Florida so it’s not frostbite. And she is born and raised here, I know the owner probably wouldn’t get her too far away.
 

farmerjan

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I would say genetic then most likely. Not good to keep breeding, but the chances of that specific combination again is very slight. If she has a good calf, came out of a good productive family, then it isn't a big deal.
 

JadeFarms

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He has 50 acres and I think he has about 20 cows on it. He has a lake and a place for the cows to go under shade. She has had 3 babies, they all looked normal. I was just kinda curious about why she has no ears.
 

farmerjan

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That would have to be my guess. We have a couple that have frost bit ears, and one charolais cross that has a "rat tail" but does okay with her calves so will stay until she doesn't breed back or has any other reason to cull. Sounds like she just came up with the short end of some very obscure recessive genes that just happened to pair up from the sire and dam. Might never see it again in the same sire and dam breeding. Since she has had calves regularly for him, there is no reason not to keep breeding her unless she has one like her. Then you know that it is not so "far back" in the genes and something to worry about. I am assuming that since you have made a bit of a pet out of her, that she can hear okay.... just no fuzzy ears sticking out. So enjoy her friendliness.
 

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