Hereford Hoof Problem

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gerardplauche

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Ok - I have heard the many problems with Herefords regarding eyes, cancer, etc. I am a glutton for punishment so I finally bought one. I have a Hereford heifer (now bred by the way) that has recently begun 'growing' her hooves; they began extending past normal length of cattle hooves. This is starting to cause her to walk flat-footed. This kind of happened all of a sudden. It came on quick, I thought they were going to fall off. Then the growing stopped; they are not back to normal, just stopped the growth phase. I'm at a loss. I really don't know what to do with her. My plan for now is to wait and see what happens. Maybe it will be alright at least until she drops the calf...

Anyone ever heard of this? Any ideas? :(
 

Santas and Duhram Reds

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A good rule of thumb is to look at the thickness of the back of the hoof when buying an animal. The thicker the hoof at the back of the hoof the better.

Also, what is her environment. Does she go over terrain to wear the hooves? Was she fed to much before you got her? Are you feeding her too much?
 

KNERSIE

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Bad feet certainly isn't a hereford breed problem, but rather an individual animal problem. It sounds like either a structural weakness higher up or that you've overcooked her with a hot ration.
 

giftedcowboy

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Sounds like they foundered her before you got her. Trim her feet and hope she grows out of it.
 

Frankie

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gerardplauche":39te4jrp said:
Ok - I have heard the many problems with Herefords regarding eyes, cancer, etc. I am a glutton for punishment so I finally bought one. I have a Hereford heifer (now bred by the way) that has recently begun 'growing' her hooves; they began extending past normal length of cattle hooves. This is starting to cause her to walk flat-footed. This kind of happened all of a sudden. It came on quick, I thought they were going to fall off. Then the growing stopped; they are not back to normal, just stopped the growth phase. I'm at a loss. I really don't know what to do with her. My plan for now is to wait and see what happens. Maybe it will be alright at least until she drops the calf...

Anyone ever heard of this? Any ideas? :(

Is she from a local producer or did you bring her in? The first thing that comes to my mind is Blue Tongue. We had problems with that for several years; all on cattle we brought in. It affects blood circulation and their feet get sore, they walk on their heels and the hoof grows long. There are several types of the virus, but that was the main symptom of the one we had. It can definitely affect the fetus of a bred cow. Good luck with her....
 

redpoll52

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Terrain and enviromental conditions are definately a factor, so is feeding. Hills, stoney ground and dry summers all help trim feet. If you farm in wet areas you do get a few overgrown toe nails, thats life im afraid.

All breeds have undesirable bloodlines, weather it be bad feet or something elce. I hope you are all honest enough to agree with this statement !!

Genetic foot problems take a lot of "breeding out". A Red Poll bull was brought to NZ quite a few years ago and his influence is still visible 3 or 4 and even 5 generations back. NOT GOOD !! (thats bad feet im talking about)

Stick to the good bloodlines, otherwise you wil regret it.

Hope this is some help
 

TexasBred

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Sounds like at some time in the past she was on a very high grain diet and experienced a long bout with acidosis. If this is the case you can trim the hoofs but they will eventually just grow back out again.
 
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gerardplauche

gerardplauche

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Thanks everyone. The terrain is very good here. Great pasture on a ridge. I'm in Louisiana so, sure, it does get wet for a day or two after a rain, but we're in a DROUGHT, so there goes that theory.

The hooves are actually beginning to improve. The "long" side dropped off in the rear. They are still not right, but I can see improvements in the last 2 weeks. Some of you mentioned over feeding could be a problem. I gave it some thought and I remember when she showed up I though 'Man, that Hereford is thick for her size!" She is now at the weight she should be. Maybe that was it. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
 

angie1

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I had a hereford heifer like this. I also had 2 of her 1/2 sisters. The sisters never developed the hoof problem. She was not over fed at any point, kept good condition ~ but not fat. They did not get worse, but they did not get better. I do believe it will significantly compromise her legs over time, and you should hesitate keeping heifers from her if you decide to keep her. Hopefully you are right, and it is a temporary issue due to feeding.

As far as what you have heard about herefords, in my opinion they are wonderful animals ~ and issues they may have had in the past have been significantly reduced by strict culling. As a beef producer in a cow/calf operation, I have enjoyed the herefords, and would not hesitate to buy one (or a whole herd of them for that matter).
 

Cowboymom

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The wive's tales you have heard about Herefords are just that. Before we came back to the ranch hubby worked for a couple of big commercial outfits and the traits you mentioned are not breed specific. I can't say for sure about udder burns and such from snow, never dealt with it. What I do know is that some of the best Hereford herds in the country are in the cold country where they get lots of snow.

About your hoof problems, about all the good advice has already been given to you but I would like to make one comment. If you go somewhere looking at cattle, bring up the subject of hoof trimming. Doesn't make any difference what breed you are talking about either. If they start telling you about old so and so tha trims feet for them twice a year, start making your way slowly to your vehicle. If you see a bunch of crooked footed, crooked legged animals, you should already be going down the road. We have always been a real stickler on good feet and legs. If a cow gets bad feet, she goes and so does her calf. We never trim feet, with the exception of a herd bull that was shown as a calf. Extra feeding can sure wreck their feet but most times it is genetic. It is hard to get out of your herd but once you do you sure don't want it back. We bought a bull one time from Texas and his heifers started to grow feet. We sold him and his heifers. Also, one time we stopped by a well advertised Hereford herd in Montana. Their sale was a couple of months off but we were in the area and wanted to look at their bull calves. We also looked at their cows and what a mess of long feet, crooked legs, etc. We edged our way out of there and when we got in the rental car, before we even turned around, my hubby told me that now he understands why I was always so strict on feet and legs. A couple of months later we got their sale catalog and all the sale calves were all buffed and plumped. The calves looked really nice...in the picture. Guess that is why mail order brides rarely work out!
 

BIZIN

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giftedcowboy":1q80s8l3 said:
Sounds like they foundered her before you got her. Trim her feet and hope she grows out of it.

I disagree, any animal that needs its feet trimmed should be shipped. We had a cow that produced a couple of bulls for us and they were working in our herd. At 8 or 9 years of age her feet went so we went back and culled all her offspring and kept a close eye on the 2nd generation, any of the 2nd generation who developed bad feet were shipped and all their offspring too. Anything that develops bad feet is a must cull. Any operator who gets feet trimmed or has their own trimming chute, well just like Cowboymom said...make your way to your vehicle and never come back.
 
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