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Hoof - white or black

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Bright Raven

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Ungulates are hoofed mammals. Hoofs are like our fingernails- they are made of a substance called keratin.

a fibrous protein forming the main structural constituent of hair, feathers, hoofs, claws, horns, etc.

On the Gimli Thread it was suggested that white hoof is inferior to black hoof. Both are made of a keratin.

Technology exists for measuring hardness, durability and strength. Is there any studies that have been conducted to support what might otherwise be an old wives tale?
 

BRYANT

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I don't know about studies that was done vs. ''old wives tale'' but one thing I do know is I got a white mule with white feet and I also have a dun mule with black feet. If you ride them both together in the same place one right behind the other you had better have shoes on that white mule. The white mule wont go near as far on rocky ground with out shoes as the dun mule will. There is a big difference in how hard the hoofs are on these two mules.
 
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Bright Raven

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BRYANT":3cq3eqxn said:
I don't know about studies that was done vs. ''old wives tale'' but one thing I do know is I got a white mule with white feet and I also have a dun mule with black feet. If you ride them both together in the same place one right behind the other you had better have shoes on that white mule. The white mule wont go near as far on rocky ground with out shoes as the dun mule will. There is a big difference in how hard the hoofs are on these two mules.

That is a good comparison. Both animals subjected to identical conditions. What I am interested in, first: is there a study employing metrics. Second: has anyone identified the mechanism. The only difference that is apparent is the absence of melanin in the white hoof.
 

Farm Fence Solutions

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When I was in shoeing school, we put the hooves of several horses in a metered shop press. Black and white hooves from the same end of the same animal kind of thing. It was a dead split. Half the time, a black hoof would fail first, half the time white. Of course, there was no way to gauge sensitivity, but we did figure out how to gauge the pressure it took to shove a coffin bone out the bottom. Later in life, I talked a vet into doing it while watching with a fluoroscope after the necropsy was complete. It was very interesting to see the failure of the sensitive and insensitive lamina in real time. I would bet that the results of our experiments will never be officially recognized, but that's the conclusion we came to, right or wrong.

Edit to add: The horses were dead before we took their feet off and put them in the press.
 
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Bright Raven

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Farm Fence Solutions":jrsr408k said:
When I was in shoeing school, we put the hooves of several horses in a metered shop press. Black and white hooves from the same end of the same animal kind of thing. It was a dead split. Half the time, a black hoof would fail first, half the time white. Of course, there was no way to gauge sensitivity, but we did figure out how to gauge the pressure it took to shove a coffin bone out the bottom. Later in life, I talked a vet into doing it while watching with a fluoroscope after the necropsy was complete. It was very interesting to see the failure of the sensitive and insensitive lamina in real time. I would bet that the results of our experiments will never be officially recognized, but that's the conclusion we came to, right or wrong.

Now, we are getting somewhere. Tangible reproducible results.
 

Farm Fence Solutions

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Bright Raven":1gkhfyx1 said:
Farm Fence Solutions":1gkhfyx1 said:
When I was in shoeing school, we put the hooves of several horses in a metered shop press. Black and white hooves from the same end of the same animal kind of thing. It was a dead split. Half the time, a black hoof would fail first, half the time white. Of course, there was no way to gauge sensitivity, but we did figure out how to gauge the pressure it took to shove a coffin bone out the bottom. Later in life, I talked a vet into doing it while watching with a fluoroscope after the necropsy was complete. It was very interesting to see the failure of the sensitive and insensitive lamina in real time. I would bet that the results of our experiments will never be officially recognized, but that's the conclusion we came to, right or wrong.

Now, we are getting somewhere. Tangible reproducible results.


You know me, better prove it if you want to spew it. :nod:
 

Son of Butch

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From talking with a couple of professional hoof trimmers both said they had to change blades more frequently when
trimming a Jersey herd (black hooves) than Holstein herds (white hooves)

It's only antidotal evidence, but these guys trim thousands of hooves a year.
 

Farm Fence Solutions

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Son of Butch":1twii4f9 said:
From talking with a couple of professional hoof trimmers both said they had to change blades more frequently when
trimming a Jersey herd (black hooves) than Holstein herds (white hooves)

It's only antidotal evidence, but these guys trim thousands of hooves a year.


Just for the sake of argument, aluminum is softer than steel, but eats a grinding wheel faster. Not saying that the black hooves weren't harder, just wonder if there is some property other than "hardness" that could cause the resulting dull blades?
 

redcowsrule33

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You will find this dissertation interesting, namely page 38, top of page 86 and top of page 91.

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/549d/4bd306c8f2fdc16c6478820ad833a85277a0.pdf

In it Winkler cites articles that showed that pigmented hoof horn had a lower capacity for water absorption and lower rates of wear, but non-pigmented was harder. There were no differences found in elasticity. I would think all would have an effect on the overall hoof quality.

Also research has shown that pigmentation has little bearing on the presence of claw disorders:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3227587/

I think we need to worry less about hoof color and more about quality/conformation. :2cents:
 
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Bright Raven

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redcowsrule33":i2yhsa6z said:
You will find this dissertation interesting, namely page 38, top of page 86 and top of page 91.

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/549d/4bd306c8f2fdc16c6478820ad833a85277a0.pdf

In it Winkler cites articles that showed that pigmented hoof horn had a lower capacity for water absorption and lower rates of wear, but non-pigmented was harder. There were no differences found in elasticity. I would think all would have an effect on the overall hoof quality.

Also research has shown that pigmentation has little bearing on the presence of claw disorders:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3227587/

I think we need to worry less about hoof color and more about quality/conformation. :2cents:

I am on my way to visit my son. I thank you and will read this. Looks like exactly what the doctor ordered.
 

okiek

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I don't know about official studies either but having owned over 50 horses over the last 53 years, and having done my share of horse shoeing, I can tell you it's more than an old wives tale (With horses at least). Not sure I feel as strongly as young Mattie Ross did in True Grit, but as she said,
"One white foot buy him'
Two white foot try him,
Three white foot be on the sly,
Four white foot pass him by
 

Nesikep

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I've found family lines more important than hoof color... Perhaps there is correlation, but not causation. There may be differences in the keratin protein apart from color.

Also, depending on your area, it may be that hard hooves are not desirable if they're too hard to wear naturally while in hard ground you need all the hardness you can get.
If there was a real cause-and-effect between color and hardness, you'd think an animal with striped hooves would have hard and soft spots and it would show in the wear (I haven't seen it)
 

Logan52

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Don't get me wrong, science has cured diseases and took us to the moon. Still, science can go off track and scientists are no more immune to bias than anyone else. Just look at the (butter is terrible/butter is good for you) studies, not to mention conflicting studies on cholesterol, eggs, red meat, and the beware the coming ice age (or global warming) scare headlines.
Have we lost all our common sense to demand a scientific study to tell us white hooves are softer than black hooves? Anyone with a paring knife or set of hoof trimmers can find this to true with across species with a little experience.
I am not wanting to attack anyone, just saying we sometimes today abandon common sense and take a study we don't really understand as gospel just because it has the word science attached.
 
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Bright Raven

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Logan52":1vfqunzw said:
Don't get me wrong, science has cured diseases and took us to the moon. Still, science can go off track and scientists are no more immune to bias than anyone else. Just look at the (butter is terrible/butter is good for you) studies, not to mention conflicting studies on cholesterol, eggs, red meat, and the beware the coming ice age (or global warming) scare headlines.
Have we lost all our common sense to demand a scientific study to tell us white hooves are softer than black hooves? Anyone with a paring knife or set of hoof trimmers can find this to true with across species with a little experience.
I am not wanting to attack anyone, just saying we sometimes today abandon common sense and take a study we don't really understand as gospel just because it has the word science attached.

No need to get excited. If you are right then a well structured study helps provide confidence in what is otherwise anecdotal evidence. If however, a study indicates there is no difference between a pigmented hoof and a non-pigmented hoof, then maybe a closer look will prevent cattleman from following an old wive's tale. Either way, looking at studies is only common sense as you say.
 

Logan52

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Thanks for the advice, this illustrates why my blood pressure is high (without a scientific study to back it up of course).
 
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Bright Raven

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MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF HOOF HORN, SOLE HAEMORRHAGE AND
LAMENESS IN DAIRY CATTLE
by
BETINA WINKLER
A thesis submitted to the University of Plymouth in partial fulfilment for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
Department of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science

July; 2005

Page 38:
The colour of the hoof horn was reported to have an influence over the bruising of the
horn, with a lower incidence of lameness and less bruising of the sole being found on cows with black hoof pigmentation (Logue et al., 1994). According to Leopold and Prietz (1980), hoof horn with pigmentation presented a lower capacity to absorb water (27.4 vs. 29.0%) and a lower wear rate (38.6 vs. 41.4%) compared to nonpigmented horn. However, Hepbum et al. (2004) reported that non-pigmented claw wall horn in cattle was
significantly harder
(46.5 vs. 40.3 nearer the coronary line and 68.5 vs. 64.8 away from the coronary line) in areas up to 4.5 cm under the coronary horn when compared to pigmented horn. No difference was measured in the dry matter of these horn samples.

Page 86:
According to Clark and Rakes (1982) hoof horn pigmentation did not affect hoof horn
hardness
. However, Hepbum et al. (2004) reported that non-pigmented claw wall horn in cattle was significantly harder (46.5 vs. 40.3 nearer the coronary line and 68.5 vs. 64.8 away from the coronary line) in areas up to 4.5 cm under the coronary horn when
compared to pigmented horn.


Page 91:
No significant difference was obtained between the elastic modulus of pigmented and non-pigmented hoof horn samples of horses (Douglas et al., 1996; Hinterhofer et al., 1998; Ley et al., 1998).
 
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Bright Raven

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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3227587/

Abstract

Claw disorders cause problems in dairy cattle all over the world. Nutrition, feeding, environment, claw trimming routines, hormonal changes related to calving and genetics are among the factors which influence the pathogenesis. The colour of the claw horn (pigmentation) has been suggested to play a role. The aim of this study was to investigate if there were any associations between the colour of the sole horn and claw disorders detected at claw trimming. Altogether, 2607 cows on 112 farms were claw trimmed once and the colour (dark, mixed or light) of the right lateral hind claw and hind claw disorders were recorded by 13 trained claw trimmers. The data were analysed using logistic regression models with logit link function, binomial distribution and herd and claw trimmer as repeated effects, with herd nested within claw trimmer. Haemorrhages of the sole (HS) and white line (HWL) were more frequently found in light than in dark claws (OR = 2.61 and 2.34, respectively). Both HS (OR = 1.43) and corkscrewed claws (OR = 1.84) were slightly more prevalent among cows which had claws with mixed colour versus dark claws. There were no significant associations of other claw disorders with claw horn colour.
 
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Bright Raven

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Farm Fence Solutions":tt1vuv28 said:
When I was in shoeing school, we put the hooves of several horses in a metered shop press. Black and white hooves from the same end of the same animal kind of thing. It was a dead split. Half the time, a black hoof would fail first, half the time white. Of course, there was no way to gauge sensitivity, but we did figure out how to gauge the pressure it took to shove a coffin bone out the bottom. Later in life, I talked a vet into doing it while watching with a fluoroscope after the necropsy was complete. It was very interesting to see the failure of the sensitive and insensitive lamina in real time. I would bet that the results of our experiments will never be officially recognized, but that's the conclusion we came to, right or wrong.

Edit to add: The horses were dead before we took their feet off and put them in the press.

I hope so. :cboy:
 

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Bright Raven":17z77kf3 said:
Farm Fence Solutions":17z77kf3 said:
When I was in shoeing school, we put the hooves of several horses in a metered shop press. Black and white hooves from the same end of the same animal kind of thing. It was a dead split. Half the time, a black hoof would fail first, half the time white. Of course, there was no way to gauge sensitivity, but we did figure out how to gauge the pressure it took to shove a coffin bone out the bottom. Later in life, I talked a vet into doing it while watching with a fluoroscope after the necropsy was complete. It was very interesting to see the failure of the sensitive and insensitive lamina in real time. I would bet that the results of our experiments will never be officially recognized, but that's the conclusion we came to, right or wrong.

Edit to add: The horses were dead before we took their feet off and put them in the press.

I hope so. :cboy:

I recently saw a picture shared of a live horse who had just experienced a failure, where the coffin bone had pierced the sole (about 1/2 inch was visible)... as a horse owner, it was heart wrenching to see.

As to the original point, I see a difference in strength with our goats as well. I have observed that the dark horn stays harder and maintains its shape much better. With our dark hoof goats, we have to wait until we have a stretch of wet weather to soften them enough to trim them, this is not the case with our white hoof goats (except in the case of our bucks, they have to be softened to trim no matter the color!). Aside from using a grinder on a mature buck, we trim with a manual shears, so it is quite obvious when the horn it much harder or thicker. It is possible that the difference is more noticeable in goats because they have more depth of heel and more vertical hoof walls.
 
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Bright Raven

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Boot Jack Bulls":14e9u9b2 said:
Bright Raven":14e9u9b2 said:
Farm Fence Solutions":14e9u9b2 said:
When I was in shoeing school, we put the hooves of several horses in a metered shop press. Black and white hooves from the same end of the same animal kind of thing. It was a dead split. Half the time, a black hoof would fail first, half the time white. Of course, there was no way to gauge sensitivity, but we did figure out how to gauge the pressure it took to shove a coffin bone out the bottom. Later in life, I talked a vet into doing it while watching with a fluoroscope after the necropsy was complete. It was very interesting to see the failure of the sensitive and insensitive lamina in real time. I would bet that the results of our experiments will never be officially recognized, but that's the conclusion we came to, right or wrong.

Edit to add: The horses were dead before we took their feet off and put them in the press.

I hope so. :cboy:

I recently saw a picture shared of a live horse who had just experienced a failure, where the coffin bone had pierced the sole (about 1/2 inch was visible)... as a horse owner, it was heart wrenching to see.

As to the original point, I see a difference in strength with our goats as well. I have observed that the dark horn stays harder and maintains its shape much better. With our dark hoof goats, we have to wait until we have a stretch of wet weather to soften them enough to trim them, this is not the case with our white hoof goats (except in the case of our bucks, they have to be softened to trim no matter the color!). Aside from using a grinder on a mature buck, we trim with a manual shears, so it is quite obvious when the horn it much harder or thicker. It is possible that the difference is more noticeable in goats because they have more depth of heel and more vertical hoof walls.

Boot Jack Bulls,

Did you get a chance to read those publications posted by redcowsrule? Please draw your own conclusions, but in cows, the differences between black pigmented and non-pigmented hoof horn is not statistically significant. I think redcowsrule made a significant point when he posted:

I think we need to worry less about hoof color and more about quality/conformation.
 

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