hoof deformities

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heaflaw

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I have about 25 brood cattle in central NC. 3 of my cows have hooves that are elongated. One of them has hooves that have crossed over each other. They are on pasture all year and their diet is solely grass/clover pasture or hay. They may have had foot rot in the past.

Any suggestions as to the cause?
 

Beefy

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well since no one else is going to answer i guess i'll throw out some of my vague ideas. long hooves can be genetic or environmental. if the cows arent related you can rule out genetic. they can get long hooves from being on soft terrain that doesnt wear down the hoof properly. or they can get long hooves from being foundered, but you say theyve been on grass. do you know the cows history or did you buy you them from someone? sometimes it takes a while to show up. another possibility is that they got into the feed room and those three engorged on feed... foot rot can also make them do like that but i wouldnt think 3 would. most foot rot foot abnormalties ive seen were more like a club footed hoof, as the cows dont like to walk on their heel. however, they say foot rot usually occurs between the two front claws but it never does here. certainly that could lead to elongated hooves that cross over eventually. another thing you might want to check for is corns between the claws. if the cows are worth it to you, you can probably get their hooves trimmed.i never have, bad feet go to the salebarn. clear as mud?
 

hillsdown

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Cows hooves do grow ,especially if they are on lush pasture and if they are just fresh (just calved).Trim them. If you don't know how then hire someone a real hoof trimmer and not a farrier.This is completely natural.One animal of the same breed /genetics will not need it and the next will.These last couple of years where everything seems to be growing is perfect for hooves and horns to grow like crazy.And to add to this Beefy, if I had an animal have hooves like that in your area they would be gone right away unless they were dairy cows that were milking.
 
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heaflaw

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All three cows were born on this farm and may be related but distantly, so I don't think it's genetic. They are between 7 & 15 years old. I think it may be either related to foot rot or a mineral defiency.
 

milkmaid

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heaflaw":ez2yceen said:
All three cows were born on this farm and may be related but distantly, so I don't think it's genetic. They are between 7 & 15 years old. I think it may be either related to foot rot or a mineral defiency.

Have they ever had footrot in the past?
 

hillsdown

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milkmaid":2idnvqu3 said:
heaflaw":2idnvqu3 said:
All three cows were born on this farm and may be related but distantly, so I don't think it's genetic. They are between 7 & 15 years old. I think it may be either related to foot rot or a mineral defiency.

Have they ever had footrot in the past?

MM what has that got to do with his cows hooves growing?You should know from being around fresh cows and good feed that hooves grow.I have seen this last year especially, a ten year old never needed trimming but did this year it was just that temperate.And I was not alone the hoof trimmer was booked way in advance because apparently I was not alone.Thankfully I do not have foot rot in my herd but back to dairy when strawberry foot rot was awful that was not at all related to cows hooves growing.If you don't look after them they will keep growing and yes eventually cross over.
 
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heaflaw

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I'm positive that one had foot rot about 2 years ago, because I treated her. The other 2 may have but I really don't know.
 

milkmaid

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hillsdown":a7ig1y40 said:
milkmaid":a7ig1y40 said:
heaflaw":a7ig1y40 said:
All three cows were born on this farm and may be related but distantly, so I don't think it's genetic. They are between 7 & 15 years old. I think it may be either related to foot rot or a mineral defiency.

Have they ever had footrot in the past?

MM what has that got to do with his cows hooves growing?You should know from being around fresh cows and good feed that hooves grow.I have seen this last year especially, a ten year old never needed trimming but did this year it was just that temperate.And I was not alone the hoof trimmer was booked way in advance because apparently I was not alone.Thankfully I do not have foot rot in my herd but back to dairy when strawberry foot rot was awful that was not at all related to cows hooves growing.If you don't look after them they will keep growing and yes eventually cross over.

Yep, I know it. I'm just trying to get a feel for what's going through this poster's head. IMO in older cows like that, it is due to a surface that's too soft to wear down hooves (ex. pasture), however, if they did have a severe case of footrot in the past... that can cause hooves to grow strangely. I had one nurse cow I had to have trimmed 2-3 times a year, just on that hoof.

Just noticed... the info I wanted is in the original post. Heaflaw, if they had footrot in the past you'd know it, and you would have treated them for it. If they were never treated for it, then you need to look for a different cause.
 

Beefy

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hillsdown, i have never had more than a handful of cows with long curled over hooves, ever. you make it sound like a very common occurence?
 

hillsdown

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Beefy it is not that common in beef but this last year especially with the conditions in our area everything is growing.We have had no rain for five years and then we have rain and snow our desert has completely changed which changes the nutrition in the cows.Dairy, yes they need to be trimmed the first 2 months of lactation.Not only do their hooves grow more but once they are fresh the hooves are softer and easier to trim.
 
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heaflaw

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I took over the beef cow herd after my father passed away, so, he may have treated the other 2 for footrot several years ago but I have no way of knowing.
 

hillsdown

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[

Just noticed... the info I wanted is in the original post. Heaflaw, if they had footrot in the past you'd know it, and you would have treated them for it. If they were never treated for it, then you need to look for a different cause.[/quote]

You're snagging that is just not fair :p Alls good keep them on their toes.So what you really wanted to know was how much attention was spent on their hooves before the problems became obvious ;-) .
 

KNERSIE

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It is more than likely caused by structural imperfections.

Without seeing them my guess would be weak pasterns. Sound legs and enough exercise (like they are likely to get when out grazing) would make the hoof trimmer virtually obsolete in beef herds.
 

63DH8

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My sister's milk cow ended up with elongated hooves. After contacting the local ag teacher, he said he thought it was due to the muddy/soft pasture. He knew te history of the cow because he owned it first, sold it but kept watch on it because it was a good milk producer and bought milk from the owners. It never had hoof problems until we got her. We trimmed her hooves and sold her. She never had problems at her new owner's place.

My beef cattle never had problems with their hooves. I think it was because we didn't let them get much older than 18 months old before getting them ready for the BBQ.
 

TheBullLady

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Something else that will help cause that is a quick change in diet, similiar to founder in a horse.

Many times they'll eventually break off. The cow may be sore for a few days when this happens, as a lot of times they will break short.
 

cowkeeper

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When hoof trimming cattle, is any of the sole removed, or just the outside extra horn? I have one that has long feet and a shallow heel, and I don't know if trimming will help or if it's bad conformation.
 

J&T Farm

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They foundered we have seen it many times even with cows that have been on the same pasture for years. It happens most of the time in the spring when the grass starts to become really lush. You can trim them you have to take some off the tip of the toe, be careful not to take to much, you might have to do it a few times. There feet will always grow this way, but trimming will help them. Some cows aren't bothered by it as much as others.
 

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