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Old 07-19-2011, 01:31 PM   #1
Anita Martin
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Default Bad Feet In Boer Buck....updated with pictures

UPDATE: I was called back out this week to trim this goat again. Last time it took me two trims to get the feet even. This time I had enough confidence that he wouldn't bleed to death to take the feet all the way down. They are off by just millimeters only because I stopped when the centers of the feet started to bulge and I knew I was close to blood supply.

I know the pictures I took before I trimmed really suck, but if you look close you can see that the two halves are wildly uneven...the goat again was walking like a "clydesdale". They said after I got his feet even the last time he walked normal until they grew like that again....which did not take long at all.

I'm again wondering if this is founder, genetics, or something else? What would cause one half of a foot to grow at the rate of approx. 1/2 inch per month? And it's growth in sole/height, not just hoof wall and it does not curl under like a normal hoof. The "good" half also seems atrophied to me, assumably from lack of use, while the "bad" side is fat and wide.

They did tell me before I started trimming that they had taken him off all grain, but once I was done, I watched them fill their pan to overflowing with some type of pellets....maybe they thought I was referring to just the corn?

pictures are at the bottom of this page.




I am kicking myself for not getting a picture of these feet yesterday before I started working on them. I had my camera in the car, but forgot all about it!

I was called out to do a Boer type goat. An intact male. Kept as a pet with a small herd of Pygmy goats in a large paddock but no pasture. There were two pans of grain/corn available, uneaten when I got there. I immediately suggested they get rid of those.

This goat has trouble walking, and gets down on his knees to eat. The problem with his feet is that on both fronts, one side, (the inside half) of his foot was probably about 4 inches long, while the outside half is normal. This means he is bearing all his weight on two stilts.


To trim him they laid him down on the ground and 2 people held him while I trimmed his hooves. I took off quite a bit, but although I was using my horse hoof nippers because of the huge amount that needed to be taken off, it still took longer than I was wanting to keep a goat on the ground in that stressed position, so I stopped once I got an inch or so removed.

I'm going back in two weeks and WILL get pictures. Does this sound like founder, with just the one half affected, or could it be genetic, or both? They want me to set up a care plan that will keep these things under control. I'm hoping getting rid of the grain will help, and have suggested monthly hoof trimming once they are even.

Is there any reason I can't make these feet even on the next trim? There is still at least one inch difference in height between the two sides, maybe a little more. I did not reach any pink at all, but stopped due to how long he had already been on the ground, plus I wanted to let the blood vessels contract back a little more before I went further. But, he really needs to be made even as soon as possible.

Another breeder who was doing his feet before me told them they should trim their goats feet every six months. He raises boer goats. They asked my opinion on that, and of course I gave it to them.

I've no personal experience with this type of foot at all, so thought I'd ask here, and also see if it's possible this hoof will ever be "normal" or will it always grow at an accelerated rate compared to the outside halves of his feet? Back feet are normal.

Thanks!


croppedandresizedctmpphprut5zq.jpg   resizedtmpphpwxltxo.jpg  
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:27 PM   #2
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Default Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

Not any expert on boer hooves but grain and high protien diet accelerate hoof growth and yes that is quite normal for the fores to grow faster than the rears with a high protien diet. Their pygmies should also be limited on the high protein diet as they are prone to obesity. Hooves should be trimmed on a regular bases for overgrowth, period.
I would suggest to them to make a head gate, then he could be restrained without having to lay him on the ground to trim. It is easier for the handler as well.
Some goats, no matter the breed, do have poor hoof conformity. I would continue to try to get the hooves even. But if they are not willing to decrease the high protein then his hooves will eventually lead to cause bent or bowed legs (THAT I do have experience in) and is why he is on his knees to eat. If he has not been copper bolused it would be beneficial to him for his hoof growth. JMHO and what I have witnessed.
Boers hooves do tend to be much thicker than dairy goats and I would suggest a soaking before hoof trimming to get them to soften.
Tam



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Old 07-19-2011, 04:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

Thanks Tammy,
They did seem willing to omit the grain as another breeder had also suggested that to them, so hopefully they will do it. I'm not sure this goat could stand for trimming, thinking about it. Each hoof has the two sides....cloves, frogs, or whatever you call them. On the fronts it's just ONE of the sides that is overgrown, making walking and standing very uncomfortable for him. He's really not lame so to speak, but he picks his feet up VERY high to walk, and then for standing still, he gets on his knees...hopefully that makes sense.

I was perplexed that the two halves would be so uneven, grossly so.

Man, I wish I had gotten pictures! I'm putting together some info on goat hooves for my Horse Hoof Care site and they would have been excellent!

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Old 07-19-2011, 05:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

Here is a picture I drew that somewhat resembles what these feet looked like before I trimmed them. The lines on the hoof represent where I took them back to.

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Old 07-19-2011, 06:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

I've got a doe this way - not 4" - more like a 1" difference between length of toes on the front - back is a bit of a difference but fairly normal. I trim her every two weeks and have a friend who knows more than I out at least once a month to work on her as well. Have done this for almost a year now and there is no letting up on this growth pattern. Being dry, bred or fresh hasn't made a difference. Bolused, bo-se, loose minerals, everything else the same as the rest of the herd. We trim down to pink on the long side everytime and have tried letting the short side grow longer to even out and it never does. The only thing we haven't tried is to cut them way down and cauterize the mess.

She is a grade doe that is a good mommy, decent confirmation otherwise, so-so udder so I have finally decided to put her down when this set of kids are weaned. Am watching the kids feet carefully as her doeling has potential (was bred to nice PB buck) and figure I'll keep her for a year and if the feet stay good, breed her; otherwise eliminate from the genepool. I am convinced it is genetic rather than management in this specific situation and that is why I am not willing to make her suffer with any extreme "fixes".

Sorry that doesn't offer any help but perhaps a perspective.

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Old 07-19-2011, 11:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

Thanks Lori,
I like to know what I'm up against, and the clients do plan to take over the hoof management once the feet are "normal". My thought is that they will never be normal, and will always require very frequent trimming. He's still a buck but they are considering taking him in for castration since they do not plan to breed him, but just keep him for a pet.

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Old 07-21-2011, 01:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anita Martin
Thanks Lori,
I like to know what I'm up against, and the clients do plan to take over the hoof management once the feet are "normal". My thought is that they will never be normal, and will always require very frequent trimming. He's still a buck but they are considering taking him in for castration since they do not plan to breed him, but just keep him for a pet.
Not being independently wealthy, I keep my "pets" in the freezer. Never could figure out why/how folks maintain non productive livestock...
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Old 07-21-2011, 06:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

Poor guy. That would be brutal... Too bad they didn't call before the problem was that advanced!

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Old 07-21-2011, 07:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twillingate Farm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anita Martin
Thanks Lori,
I like to know what I'm up against, and the clients do plan to take over the hoof management once the feet are "normal". My thought is that they will never be normal, and will always require very frequent trimming. He's still a buck but they are considering taking him in for castration since they do not plan to breed him, but just keep him for a pet.
Not being independently wealthy, I keep my "pets" in the freezer. Never could figure out why/how folks maintain non productive livestock...
Well, it doesn't really cost much more to maintain a pet goat than a pet dog or cat, I don't think.

Poor guy, hope you can get his feet better!
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

What you're describing is a classic case of founder. Especially if you noticed a thickening in the wall of the hoof. Founder can be managed with a low protein diet (oats and grass hay for example) and frequent hoof trimmings. For some goats it's more of a problem than for others. Feeding a supplement that has biotin in it can help also. It does seem to run in some Nubian family lines, not sure about any other breeds though.



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