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View Full Version : Do Other Hooved Animals Get Their Feet Trimmed?



dressagetraks
Sep. 23, 2012, 08:44 AM
Random thought of the morning that occurred to me while I was out feeding just now.

I have never heard of anybody having the farrier out or even self-trimming their cows. Granted, I find cows boring outside of hamburger buns, so I haven't paid tremendous attention to cow husbandry. But I've never heard it mentioned at the farm store or in town in conversations, and there are lots of cow farmers around here.

Even unridden horses can develop very long, uncomfortable toes if not trimmed. Do cows? Or do their hooves not grow?

What about goats or other hooved nonequids? Do they get trimmed?

Tamara in TN
Sep. 23, 2012, 08:48 AM
yes all things with hooves will at some point in their lives need work
for entertainment find the "dried hooves" chew toys at somewhere like TSC and read the founder rings ;>

Tamara

saje
Sep. 23, 2012, 08:48 AM
Yes, cows get their feet done, and foot care in cows is every bit as important as it is in horses.

hundredacres
Sep. 23, 2012, 08:52 AM
A friend of ours make s a good living trimming cattle. He has portable stocks that he pulls with his truck - it is an expensive piece of equipment that lifts the cow up and turns them on their side to trim.

I trim my goats hooves. He doesn't like it, but I do :).

AliCat518
Sep. 23, 2012, 08:58 AM
So interesting. How often are they trimmed?! I can't imagine the cows are all too fond of it.

Tamara in TN
Sep. 23, 2012, 09:03 AM
So interesting. How often are they trimmed?! I can't imagine the cows are all too fond of it.

they don't love it...but they use tilt tables in the headgates for the worst cases and they don't exactly suffer.

I can and have nipped a bit of here and there but we use toe chisels and not nippers.

Tamara

Bluey
Sep. 23, 2012, 09:05 AM
Our cows are range beef cows and never need their feet trimmed, they walk them short and shapey.

Now, old bulls get lazy and don't do much walking any more and those, if they have a problem, have to be tended to.
I would say one may need feet trimmed once in his lifetime, another once a year, whatever, depending on the bull and the ground he walks on.
If a young bull had feet problems that are inheritable, you didn't breed him, so as not to pass that on.

We had a goat dairy and we trimmed them as needed, some every few months, some hardly ever.

Good animal husbandry is breeding for good feet and that keeps hoof problems and need to trim down.

sk_pacer
Sep. 23, 2012, 09:12 AM
You should make an effort to get behind the scenes at a large livestock show - all kinds of critters getting pedicures, including hogs, almost all done on tipping tables. In some ways, cloven hooves are worse than a solid hoof as there can be more and weirder problems including such niceties as foot rot and interdigital cysts.

I have a pair of ancient cow hoof trimmers here, the long handled ones for nipping off a long toe without having to use a tipping table

hundredacres
Sep. 23, 2012, 09:15 AM
Not many ranges for cattle around here, so I think trimming is probably more common in this part of the country.

fivehorses
Sep. 23, 2012, 09:16 AM
My goat gets trimmed monthly...but I think that is the exception. His hooves pronate, and lots of growth goes on.
He is getting better(after upteen years) and I can even do it by myself without having someone hold him and feed him to distract him.

Bluey
Sep. 23, 2012, 09:23 AM
When steers were used to plow and pull wagons, they had shoes on.
Since their feet are cloven, have two parts to each foot, there where two shoes on each foot.
Those shoes look like a fat comma, not like horseshoes.:yes:

We had some old such shoes around for long time.

Wayside
Sep. 23, 2012, 09:25 AM
My sheep get their feet trimmed, but it's pretty easy to do, and doesn't need to be done all that often.

War Admiral
Sep. 23, 2012, 09:28 AM
Goats definitely. And they howl like banshees about it! :lol:

maunder
Sep. 23, 2012, 09:57 AM
I trim my goats and my sheep regularly.

saddleup
Sep. 23, 2012, 10:13 AM
My former farrier did the zebras at the zoo.

Hippolyta
Sep. 23, 2012, 10:23 AM
There is also flooring/footing that can be used to help cattle hooves self trim (emery board tiles?)

Acertainsmile
Sep. 23, 2012, 10:28 AM
A friend of ours make s a good living trimming cattle. He has portable stocks that he pulls with his truck - it is an expensive piece of equipment that lifts the cow up and turns them on their side to trim.

I trim my goats hooves. He doesn't like it, but I do :).

Just learned this is how some do cows...I asked the question after seeing a very large bull at the local fair, the guy said they don't like to lift their legs like horses, :lol:

Epona142
Sep. 23, 2012, 04:14 PM
The entire dairy herd (around 80 goats) is trimmed monthly. The does in milk are done on the stand, and the young stock rounded up and taught what the milk stand is all about (yummies and standing still) and they get their feet trimmed.

Bluey
Sep. 23, 2012, 04:21 PM
The entire dairy herd (around 80 goats) is trimmed monthly. The does in milk are done on the stand, and the young stock rounded up and taught what the milk stand is all about (yummies and standing still) and they get their feet trimmed.

80!:eek:

We kept about 6-8 from about 12 in milk only and that was plenty to milk by hand.

Ours ran in a little canyon by the house, so they kept their feet nice running around in the sand draws, but needed trimming here and there.

Hippolyta
Sep. 23, 2012, 04:23 PM
With sheep we would sit them on their butt, leaning against your legs & trim that way.

Punkie
Sep. 23, 2012, 04:23 PM
My pot belly gets trimmed! She actually had to go to UF a few weeks shop to have a quarter crack apoxied, the poor girl. She had worn her tire incorrectly between trimmings and the outside toe on her left hind split. I felt so horribly, I didn't know a piggy could be that lame :'( Thankfully they fixed her up and she's a happy, wonderfully sound "little" lady!!

Alagirl
Sep. 23, 2012, 04:26 PM
With sheep we would sit them on their butt, leaning against your legs & trim that way.

Well, they should be used to that, since sheering is done that way, too.

back in the day my mom would joke about the claw trimmer coming by to do grandma's feet! :lol:

I have read about a guy who started using a tilt table for horses. The advantage was that he could have two people working on the horse at the time and do a herd in no time, like a dude string, etc. And even more difficult horses would get used to it quickly and relax and nap while their feet are being done.

maunder
Sep. 23, 2012, 04:34 PM
I have a sheep deck chair for trimming. Great for the "single mom" sheep owner! ;)

http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=86

I lead the sheep to the chair and then tip them backwards into it, where they lay comfy and secure for their trims. It's getting a little harder to get my Boompa sheep Wickery into the chair...he's a little portly.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/87431845@N06/8004197576/in/photostream

leaf
Sep. 23, 2012, 04:55 PM
I trim my seven goats almost regularly. It's a pain in the butt. They need it right now. They're twelve years old. We've been doing this a while now. Goats are pretty good. All Dh needs to do is sit in a chair and hold their horns. I'm on my hands and knees, crab-like. I'm getting too old.
I'm kind and patient with the first two, but woe to the others that act up. I'm tired. I will punch a goat. They act like they don't even care.

Bluey
Sep. 23, 2012, 05:16 PM
Well, they should be used to that, since sheering is done that way, too.

back in the day my mom would joke about the claw trimmer coming by to do grandma's feet! :lol:

I have read about a guy who started using a tilt table for horses. The advantage was that he could have two people working on the horse at the time and do a herd in no time, like a dude string, etc. And even more difficult horses would get used to it quickly and relax and nap while their feet are being done.

Some of the old BLM alleys to the chute had a tilt table, so they could turn a horse up and treat or trim feet safely.

We just teach them to lay down, if holding a foot up is hard for whatever reason, like this lame mare:

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a298/Robintoo/2323232327Ffp473Dot3E23263D773A3D8233DXROQDF3E2323 93B6954999ot1lsi-1.jpg

I read and saw drawings of some old blacksmith shops where they had wooden stocks with a block and tackle and swing that they could lift and tie up a leg on big draft horses, if they were acting up and so work on their feet safer than with them on the ground fighting for their feet.

rustbreeches
Sep. 23, 2012, 06:54 PM
Our dairy cows get their feet done at least every six months. But the trimmer is out every 2 weeks, doing them in groups according to when they were dried off. We also have a portable chute so DH can do any in an emergency situation. It is really important in dairy cows to keep their feet done. They are worse than hot house WBs in the 6 figures for ways they can render their feet useless. That is one of the 2 major reasons people will cull them out of the herd. Not pregnant, or bad feet

HorsesinHaiti
Sep. 23, 2012, 07:53 PM
The four dustbunnies here (sheep) got the side of my yard/pen that has a concrete platform and plenty of rocks in the upper part, so they keep their feet worn pretty well. I check them when we handle them for tie-out grazing just the other side of their fence, or during blood draws. I've touched up the toes on the two adults all of one time, I think. Sheep feet are mostly 'frog-like' material and wall, with nothing I recognize as being sole-like. you can use a horse rasp if they only need toes and general walls done, but shears would be nice to have if they are on soft ground and need overall trimming.

Beverley
Sep. 23, 2012, 07:59 PM
Sure. Cows- more specifically oxen, were commonly shod when they were used back in the day, especially the 19th century westward migration in the U.S. It's not uncommon to see old oxen shoes along the Pony Express trail, Oregon trail, etc.

Elephants in captivity need to have their nails trimmed, as well.

(Ah, I see Bluey posted similarly!)

cutter99
Sep. 23, 2012, 08:04 PM
I live just outside of Lancaster County, PA, which is one of the top 10 dairy counties in the US and some days I may pass 4-5 cattle hoof trimmers towing their tables behind their trucks. Mike Rowe actually did a segment of "Dirty Jobs" on cattle hoof trimming with a trimmer from Lancaster County.

We raise pigs and they "self trim" on the concrete floor of the barn and the barn yard.

Cindyg
Sep. 23, 2012, 10:39 PM
I had no idea!

My fat little donkey, who does NO work, gets his feet trimmed right along with my horse.

Foxtrot's
Sep. 24, 2012, 12:43 AM
You are all so interesting - and Alagirl - your mum has a sense of humour like you - like mother like daughter!

Polydor
Sep. 24, 2012, 05:25 AM
Very cool! Can't say any of our sheep get done but they do have massive pastures ( 1000 +acres) but may have to ask our sheep manager about it.

Learn something new every day... would be interested in seeing oxen shoes!

P.

cloudyandcallie
Sep. 24, 2012, 06:46 AM
I paid to have the barn's potbellied pig's hooves trimmed by a vet friend who rescues potbellied pigs. My farrier wouldn't trim his hooves. Although when another woman at another barn cried, my farrier trimmed her goats' hooves.

One of the ladies at the local post office told me she had to buy special boots for one of her cows. And had to have the cow's hooves trimmed.

The PBP's hooves look great now. And he moves around much better than he did when his hooves were so long.

I guess it depends on whether or not hooves get worn down. And whether or not hooves get worn down evenly. I trim my dogs and cats' nails, and I pay to have my horses' hooves trimmed every 6 weeks, so if I had goats and pigs and all, I'd be paying to have those trimmed as well. And maybe some shoes, LOL, I put shoes on everything.

HorsesinHaiti
Sep. 24, 2012, 07:17 AM
Spinoff: While this thread is getting more eyeballs than the Menagerie, are any of you sheepkeepers in hot and humid zones? What local protein sources are you finding to use, or are you just taking advantage of your access to clover and alfalfa?

I have local forage in front of the dustbunnies all day and their jaws rarely quit moving, and I give them corn until I start seeing signs of the runs - but they aren't keeping good weight on and I think it's a protein deficiency in the local grass. It's abundant, but not high quality. Sheep feed from Miami is on the next container coming, but I need to come up with tropical-based sources of better forage.

We have to cut and carry feed, no land for pastures available. I could spring for reseeding a few common areas with better grass, but I'll have to run any new species by the Min of Ag. after all the problems with cholera I am NOT introducing Haiti to the Next Kudzu.

Alagirl
Sep. 24, 2012, 07:23 AM
Spinoff: While this thread is getting more eyeballs than the Menagerie, are any of you sheepkeepers in hot and humid zones? What local protein sources are you finding to use, or are you just taking advantage of your access to clover and alfalfa?

I have local forage in front of the dustbunnies all day and their jaws rarely quit moving, and I give them corn until I start seeing signs of the runs - but they aren't keeping good weight on and I think it's a protein deficiency in the local grass. It's abundant, but not high quality. Sheep feed from Miami is on the next container coming, but I need to come up with tropical-based sources of better forage.

We have to cut and carry feed, no land for pastures available. I could spring for reseeding a few common areas with better grass, but I'll have to run any new species by the Min of Ag. after all the problems with cholera I am NOT introducing Haiti to the Next Kudzu.
well you should try the farm forum. :)
My vegetarian cookbooks suggest to mix corn and legumes for complete protein...not sure how sheep handle beans tho.

Kwill
Sep. 24, 2012, 08:50 AM
I had a momentary image of a flatulent sheep herd, there.

Always interesting to hear the issues with animal husbandry in other countries ... good luck!

maunder
Sep. 24, 2012, 09:01 AM
Spinoff: While this thread is getting more eyeballs than the Menagerie, are any of you sheepkeepers in hot and humid zones? What local protein sources are you finding to use, or are you just taking advantage of your access to clover and alfalfa?

I have local forage in front of the dustbunnies all day and their jaws rarely quit moving, and I give them corn until I start seeing signs of the runs - but they aren't keeping good weight on and I think it's a protein deficiency in the local grass. It's abundant, but not high quality. Sheep feed from Miami is on the next container coming, but I need to come up with tropical-based sources of better forage.

We have to cut and carry feed, no land for pastures available. I could spring for reseeding a few common areas with better grass, but I'll have to run any new species by the Min of Ag. after all the problems with cholera I am NOT introducing Haiti to the Next Kudzu.

I don't have pasture either and all my feed is brought in, even though I can only claim hot and humid for about a month out of the year ;). Because of that my veterinarian found that my sheep were much more prone to parasites than a sheep that would be on good grass. Too much snuffling around in the dirt and feces.

Mine tested positive for a lot of worms, including giardia. The giardia was one of the reasons for my sheep not gaining weight and having the runs and basically feeling poorly. A special deworming treatment took care of that.

It might be worth a fecal test to see if that's part of the problem.

HorsesinHaiti
Sep. 24, 2012, 11:55 AM
I don't have pasture either and all my feed is brought in, even though I can only claim hot and humid for about a month out of the year ;). Because of that my veterinarian found that my sheep were much more prone to parasites than a sheep that would be on good grass. Too much snuffling around in the dirt and feces.

Mine tested positive for a lot of worms, including giardia. The giardia was one of the reasons for my sheep not gaining weight and having the runs and basically feeling poorly. A special deworming treatment took care of that.

It might be worth a fecal test to see if that's part of the problem.

They haven't had the runs other than when I've given the ewe significantly more corn than she is used to, but worms could be part of it even though I tried to get the adults dewormed quickly when they came in. The extra deworming may be a good idea. I don't think the national vet lab does fecals on demand? I will check. Since these sheep give blood to a human lab that is establishing better testing including fecals, I'll see if the testing materials came in. I know giardia is a bear to capture in human tests, but she's not having that type of the runs. I've learned trimming, now Birgit the lab tech and I will have to learn to do fecals.

I've given them paste ivermectin per weight when I dewormed the pony. Hi Mods, this thread really is horse related!;):) What equine dewormers do you 'share' with your sheep, and do you adjust the dose for more than just weight? Do any horse dewormers really mess up the flora in the rumen/gut?

Now goats, they are almost indestructable!

Alagirl
Sep. 24, 2012, 01:10 PM
They haven't had the runs other than when I've given the ewe significantly more corn than she is used to, but worms could be part of it even though I tried to get the adults dewormed quickly when they came in. The extra deworming may be a good idea. I don't think the national vet lab does fecals on demand? I will check. Since these sheep give blood to a human lab that is establishing better testing including fecals, I'll see if the testing materials came in. I know giardia is a bear to capture in human tests, but she's not having that type of the runs. I've learned trimming, now Birgit the lab tech and I will have to learn to do fecals.

I've given them paste ivermectin per weight when I dewormed the pony. Hi Mods, this thread really is horse related!;):) What equine dewormers do you 'share' with your sheep, and do you adjust the dose for more than just weight? Do any horse dewormers really mess up the flora in the rumen/gut?

Now goats, they are almost indestructable!

http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=97

;)
:cool:

kookicat
Sep. 24, 2012, 02:59 PM
With sheep we would sit them on their butt, leaning against your legs & trim that way.

Yep. I've trimmed sheep like that.

Cow trim vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGDDQAk6KGE

Hippolyta
Sep. 25, 2012, 01:47 AM
The story about the farrier who wouldn't do the pig...

I picture you standing in the barn aisle pointing emphatically to your pet at your heels, then farrier shaking head.

Then the crying lady with the goat...it is really too funny, if it wasn't so annoying (crabby face).

Rudy
Sep. 25, 2012, 01:56 AM
I have read about a guy who started using a tilt table for horses. The advantage was that he could have two people working on the horse at the time and do a herd in no time, like a dude string, etc. And even more difficult horses would get used to it quickly and relax and nap while their feet are being done.

I know of a farm with getting up over 80 head of drafts. They use the tilt tables for trimming ...the horses quickly learned to relax and deal with it.

LSM1212
Sep. 25, 2012, 12:19 PM
Yep. I've trimmed sheep like that.

Cow trim vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGDDQAk6KGE

Very interesting.... I loved how he gave the cow a few pats on the neck and head as he was passing in front of it. :D

Beverley
Sep. 25, 2012, 07:03 PM
I know of a farm with getting up over 80 head of drafts. They use the tilt tables for trimming ...the horses quickly learned to relax and deal with it.

Ditto a lot of ranches with lots of horses, out west, not just for trimming but also for shoeing.

faybe
Sep. 25, 2012, 09:10 PM
When steers were used to plow and pull wagons, they had shoes on.
Since their feet are cloven, have two parts to each foot, there where two shoes on each foot.
Those shoes look like a fat comma, not like horseshoes.:yes:

We had some old such shoes around for long time.

There are a few examples of oxen shoes in the farrier display/shoe collection in the library at New Bolton Center. Very interesting!

Hippolyta
Sep. 25, 2012, 09:24 PM
We used to find an occasional ox shoe at our old farm. I always wondered how they worked, where the nails would go in the hoof (seems even trickier than a horse hoof). The oxen that I see at the fair pulls never have them, as far as I can notice. How would you find an ox farrier?

SuckerForHorses
Sep. 26, 2012, 07:56 AM
We used to find an occasional ox shoe at our old farm. I always wondered how they worked, where the nails would go in the hoof (seems even trickier than a horse hoof). The oxen that I see at the fair pulls never have them, as far as I can notice. How would you find an ox farrier?

Look closer especially at the "Free For All" classes (the really big ones) because around here (Vermont) almost every pair of oxen in the bigger weight classes have shoes, and some owners even have their smaller pairs done as well.

I had a Jersey steer named Pete for 3 years, he was a pet and I got him as a calf at 3 days old. I raised him up with my horses, and he would come when called just like them! I used to clip him, brush him, bathe him, and walk him around town. My parents owned a Saint Bernard dog at the time, who wasn't much smaller than Pete, and she would walk the dog and I would walk Pete, and we'd go to the store and get ice creams and Pete would eat my cone when I was done.

I also taught him to lift his legs, all four of them, so I could trim his feet. Because they are not a solid piece, I always had a hard time keeping the side I was working on still so I could rasp it and get a good trim. They wiggle like toes and I would have to brace the foot against my leg to get leverage enough to actually trim anything off.

anon123456
Sep. 26, 2012, 08:44 AM
My goat loves getting his feet done. He will stand next to the farrier and lightly "butt" him until he has all 4 done and then will trot away and watch as the horses get theirs done.

OnAhead
Oct. 10, 2012, 02:26 AM
I've trimmed goats, sheep, pigs, and reindeer. I know of a farrier that trimmed a moose.
I guess the thing was pretty heavily drugged. I tend to draw the line when it comes to
Thousand pound plus wild animals.

cowboymom
Oct. 10, 2012, 08:55 AM
My husband does a lot of other critters, goats and pigs ect. Some farriers are above it and will only do horses.

When DH shod horses in Yellowstone they would often work two farriers on one horse but not on the table. A horse is capable of having two feet up for the farrier at one time. :)

IME, the tables are frowned on. There is one guy that does all his dude horses on the table with a Makita grinder and it's just ugly. Lots of injuries and he can't get the angles right, it's just disgusting.

Mules generally handle the psychological event of the table better than horses do and the outfits we know that are using the table with success are usually running mules.

Crackerdog
Oct. 10, 2012, 10:11 AM
Random thought of the morning that occurred to me while I was out feeding just now.

I have never heard of anybody having the farrier out or even self-trimming their cows. Granted, I find cows boring outside of hamburger buns, so I haven't paid tremendous attention to cow husbandry. But I've never heard it mentioned at the farm store or in town in conversations, and there are lots of cow farmers around here.

Even unridden horses can develop very long, uncomfortable toes if not trimmed. Do cows? Or do their hooves not grow?

What about goats or other hooved nonequids? Do they get trimmed?

I just asked my farrier this same question the last time he was here as we are going to be expanding our animal variety soon. For us, who are planning on eating the cow, he said probably not. For the pig that we will be eating, he said maybe. For sheep and goats that we will have to just to look at he said yes.

Guin
Oct. 10, 2012, 10:14 AM
Crackerdog, I *love* your nickname. I presume it is from James Herriott's recounts of Tricki-Woo and Mrs. Pumphrey. :D

Sadie's Mom
Oct. 17, 2012, 09:52 AM
I can't imagine a horse having to stand on two legs. Every horse I ever had acts so put off having to lift one, lol. I can see the appeal of a table. The bending over to trim is what kills me. Back gets so sore. With my goats, I trim them on the milk stand.

Crackerdog
Oct. 17, 2012, 10:10 AM
Crackerdog, I *love* your nickname. I presume it is from James Herriott's recounts of Tricki-Woo and Mrs. Pumphrey. :D

:yes: I also ended up with a high energy but loveable ACD with seizures. The name seemed fitting.

walknsound
Oct. 17, 2012, 10:11 AM
Goats definitely. And they howl like banshees about it! :lol:

Yep, my pet goat Bootie gets trimmed by my barefoot trimmer. Bootie raises hell, but she's getting better after umpteen years! LOL!