Bad feet

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townfarmer

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We have a small fold of highland cattle. There is one cow who has a wonderful quiet temperment. She raises beautiful beefy (for highland) calves and she keeps in great condition through winter and drought. But as you can see from the photo's she has terrible feet. My question is this. If she and her progeny are joined to bulls with excellent feet, can this be problem be bred out or will it be a recurring issue that will continue to haunt us? I'm loathe to cull her due to the other desirable qualities she has. We have other cows with good feet but they don't come close to her in mothering ability and easy keeping

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Andrew
 

dun

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In my limited experience with really bad feet it seems like it's a crapshoot if they will improve in her calves. It seems like with some matings they will be much better and another year with the same bull there won;t be any improvement. We have on cow that has toes that the outside claw on her rear feet curl straight up. I've seen the same thing in some of her calves as early as weaning age and others not show it by slaughter age.
 

KNERSIE

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Has she foundered by any chance when young? When did her hooves start to overgrow like this? Her front hooves don't look much better and I don't see any serious structural issues in the front legs or shoulders that could have caused this (can't see enough of her to have an opinion on rear legs soundness) so I'm leaning towards nutritional issues as the original cause of this. What does her calves' feet look like?

If she was a registered cow and you're breeding registered breeding stock I'd say cull her before any prospective buyer sees her, but if she is just a commercial cow and the feet don't cause any work for you or discomfort for her I cannot see why not let her raise a few more calves. If heifers out of her show the same feet problems later then you can always just cull them and all her other relatives as you'd know its genetic then. If her problem was indeed caused by nutritional issues she is unlikely to pass the tendency to have overgrown hooves on unless she passes a complete intolerance to a hotter ration on to her progeny.
 

Brandonm22

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This is off topic; but..........WHAT are the camels for? Australian camel burgers or riding???
 

bward

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I would say, yes you can.
Select a bull with bolt upright pasterns with a short toe and lots of heel on the foot. Been there done that.
 

farmwriter

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I don't have any first-hand experience with this - praise the Lord - but my go-to cow book says this:
"This will eventually lead to lameness and loss of production. This condition is heritable and should not be allowed to stay in the cowherd."

And, yeah, why camels?
 

lovecows

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We have one cow who has bad feet and always walked terrible, but like yours, has lots of other great characteristics - really big bodied, good disposition, picture perfect udder, great mom, and good hair. We weren't quite sure what to do with her, but decided to see what she would produce. Turns out she has produced 2 of our best structured animals - really nice feet! I guess the proof is in the progeny.
 

bigbull338

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that cow just needs her feet trimmed.an that will let her walk better.just dont trimm them to the quick or she will be very sore footed.
 

phillse

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Like dun said it seems that breeding it out is a guessing game if it is truely a genetic problem. However, as kernsie pointed out it looks like a case of founder caused by nutrition. My suggestion as what to do with the cow depends on her function and your desires. If she is being used in a purebreed herd to produce seedstock cull her or put her in terminal production. If she is an ornament/pet trim her feet, if she is already is terminal production leave alone or trim her feet.
 

TexasBred

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I'm guessing she foundered at sometime years ago. Trim the feed if you want but if she gets around well, maintains body condition, breeds back and raises you a calf every year I'd just leave her alone and let her enjoy that beautiful countryside you have there. I certainly wouldn't cull her.
 
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townfarmer

townfarmer

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Thanks everyone for the helpfull advice. We've only had her for two years so I'm not sure about her having founder when she was young. I do know her previous owner fed his cattle a lot of grain so it's possible. She has a heifer calf at the moment who's feet look okay at this stage. She is a commercial cow so I think I'll take the good advice offered and have her feet trimmed and continue to breed her keeping an eye on her progeny's feet. When we bought her I didn't know what I was doing as I was new to the cattle industry. It's only been since reading CT threads that I've started looking at their feet and overall structure.

The camels are for weed control. We have a big problem with blackberries. We spend about $3000 dollars a year spraying them plus countless man hours. Camels cost about $800 dollars each so hopefully they will pay for themselves eating new blackberry shoots and wattle suckers. People in the area have had good success with them.
 

ArmyDoc

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townfarmer":1pdn6elu said:
Thanks everyone for the helpfull advice. We've only had her for two years so I'm not sure about her having founder when she was young. I do know her previous owner fed his cattle a lot of grain so it's possible. She has a heifer calf at the moment who's feet look okay at this stage. She is a commercial cow so I think I'll take the good advice offered and have her feet trimmed and continue to breed her keeping an eye on her progeny's feet. When we bought her I didn't know what I was doing as I was new to the cattle industry. It's only been since reading CT threads that I've started looking at their feet and overall structure.

The camels are for weed control. We have a big problem with blackberries. We spend about $3000 dollars a year spraying them plus countless man hours. Camels cost about $800 dollars each so hopefully they will pay for themselves eating new blackberry shoots and wattle suckers. People in the area have had good success with them.

Did you try goats? Camels are way more interesting... but you can buy a lot of goats for $800.
 
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townfarmer

townfarmer

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Hey ArmyDoc

We did look at goats for blackberry control. Unfortunately we get a lot of wild dogs coming through our place. The goats wouldn't last long without some herd protection dogs. Camels on the other hand are about as dingo proof as you can get.
 
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townfarmer

townfarmer

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I agree it looks like a possible founder.

love the camels are they broke to ride? I've always wanted a camel ...

Btw welcome to the boards from a fellow Aussie! Check out the Australian thread on the coffee shop ...

The camels are 18 months old. We'd love to have them broken in to ride or at least lead the kids around on. They've been great to own. They're real characters and incredibly low maintenance Thanks for the welcome. I'll pop in on the coffee shop sometime.

Andrew
 

BRYANT

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I would think it may be founder I had a crossbred cow that i took off of a dry pasture and put in a pasture that was full of arrow leaf clover and vetch and she founder her feet looked kind of like the ones in the picture. ( Vet said she founderd )
Now the camels if any one else has ever heard of that I would like to know will they eat grass or just weeds seems i fight a battle with black berries i have a place that they brushhoged them for years now they have a lot of roots and they are hard to kill out!!!! if it will work I will be looking for me some camels.
 
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townfarmer

townfarmer

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Now the camels if any one else has ever heard of that I would like to know will they eat grass or just weeds seems i fight a battle with black berries i have a place that they brushhoged them for years now they have a lot of roots and they are hard to kill out!!!! if it will work I will be looking for me some camels.

Camels are predominately browsers as opposed to grazers but will eat a bit of grass. They won't eradicate blackberries but they will eat new shoots once you've sprayed, burnt or ripped the large brambles. They'll eat young trees, shrubs and most weeds.
 

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