Welcome back to part two of our two-part series of caring for your livestock’s hooves. In part one, we discussed caring for your horse and swine hooves. In part two, we are going to continue the hoof discussion with your other livestock animals including cattle, goats, and sheep.
In part one, we discussed — and will reiterate here — that proper nutrition is an important element to keeping your animals and their hooves’ healthy. A balanced nutrient-rich diet is critical to your animals’ overall health, including building strong hooves that don’t crack or break easily.
As a responsible livestock owner, practicing proper hoof trimming and maintenance is non-negotiable. If you are unable or unwilling to perform regular hoof maintenance for your livestock, you can enlist the services of a Ferrier or a local veterinarian. If you do not keep up with regular hoof maintenance and trimming, you may find your animals become lame, die prematurely, and are at an increased risk of infection. At Conroe Feeders, it doesn’t matter what kind of animals you have, we have the tools and animal feed you need to keep your livestock healthy and well cared for.
Hoof Maintenance Recommendations
Cattle, like any other hooved animals, must have their hooves tended to regularly. 95% of lameness in cattle are caused by hoof issues that can be prevented and treated easily. Solar ulcers a common problem in roaming cattle and can be a cause of infection. To prevent this, regular hoof inspections and hoof trimming should be completed. If your cattle have uneven hooves, balancing them can prevent a host of hoof, bone, joint, ligament, and tendon problems.
Goat hoof trimming is a critical element to their health and the safety of the entire herd. Roaming goats in rocky areas may not need as much hoof trimming as those who graze in pastures, but routine inspections are important to reducing infection and lameness. Goats, in particular, are susceptible to infectious foot rot. Contagious foot rot is a big concern because it can infect your entire herd rapidly. Proper pasture drainage and good hoof maintenance practice can help prevent hoof rot. It is recommended to inspect goats’ hooves each time you work with the herd.
Similarly to goat hooves, sheep hoof care will differ based on the terrain on which they graze. Sheep who graze on rocky areas may not require as frequent hoof trimming, but should still have their hooves inspected routinely for sores, infection, and hoof overgrowth. Sheep who graze primarily in pastures should have their hooves tended to much more regularly. As with every other hoofed animal we have discussed, hoof overgrowth can cause injury and lameness and improper hoof inspections can result in an infection to the hoof, which may spread to other members of the herd or systemically throughout the sheep’s body causing a variety of health problems. Avoid lameness and disease in your sheep herd with routine hoof maintenance.
As we discussed with goats, foot rot is also common in sheep herds and can be passed to the entire herd through the soil of your pasture. Ensuring proper hoof care is practiced is one of the most important preventative measures to protect against culling your sheep.
At Conroe Feeders, we are passionate about the health and safety of the animals of Conroe. We strive to keep the livestock healthy and happy. For all of your hoof care needs, stop by our farm supply store. We have all the tools and animal feed you need to keep your livestock healthy and the expert advice that can help with any issues you may be having. Contact us today, or just come on down to the shop!