Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hoof Trimming

Early Hoof Trimming

Scout, was on milk replacer twice a day, had free choice hay, and was offered fresh commercial calf-starter mix from the day he first came to Storybrooke Farm (at ten days of age), til our first real cold snap in early December. During this period of time he was not confined to his stall and spent most of his time out grazing with his stable-mate Peaches (the pony).

The pasture was hard-frozen winter pasture, mostly brown duff, but he preferred it to calf starter. He was only consuming a modest amount of starter mix daily. When it finally snowed sufficient to cover the frozen pasture, the temperature also dipped to -15 F below zero(-26 C).

As I noted in an earlier blog entry, I found Scout in the morning hypothermic with partially frozen ears, even though he had spent the night in the barn with ample dry bedding.

Soon after this event (I’m calling it a metabolic energy crisis) I began to observe abnormal softness and growth around the coronary band (top of hoof) on his front feet. In a few weeks a thin layer of the soles of his hooves began to separate and come off. By mid-January his front hooves were abnormally long.

Wanting to prevent his fetlocks and pasterns from getting stretched out and weak I decided to trim his feet. I trimmed a modest amount of toe because he is so young. He has presented no signs of lameness before or after trimming.

I purchased Scout from my favorite dairy (from my hoof trimming days) largely because the cattle at that dairy never had serious hoof problems. So it is a bit of an irony to me that I am having these hoof problems with Scout.

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