Bad Old Feet ?

Cattle problems.
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Stocker Steve
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Bad Old Feet ?

Post by Stocker Steve » Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:56 am

Seems like cows with poorer foot structure do OK when young, but problems start to show up after they are 4 to 6 years old. Rear hooves get longer and they walk tender footed at time. What is the aging related breakdown that makes this more evident over time?
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Re: Bad Old Feet ?

Post by ez14. » Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:07 am

I'd guess it has to do with them being less active. It happens every time we have a dairy cow get sick for an extended period of time that they're hooves get long

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Re: Bad Old Feet ?

Post by Aaron » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:22 pm

Breakdown of the pastern.
cor durum laborem

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Re: Bad Old Feet ?

Post by Stocker Steve » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:26 pm

Aaron wrote:Breakdown of the pastern.


Happens to just some?

Can be predicted by?

Progressive?
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Re: Bad Old Feet ?

Post by Redgully » Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:54 pm

Get them walking over some rocky land and it will help a lot. I was once told that cattle bred with the thurl closer to the pins than the hip will cause long toes. To me soft ground or not walking enough is the problem.

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Re: Bad Old Feet ?

Post by TCRanch » Sun Dec 23, 2018 6:30 pm

Redgully wrote:Get them walking over some rocky land and it will help a lot. I was once told that cattle bred with the thurl closer to the pins than the hip will cause long toes. To me soft ground or not walking enough is the problem.

Have to agree. Way more foot problems in the winter when they're not grazing, just hanging around the bale & quite often it's muddy/wet. Not sure if this is part of the problem but since the VFD went into effect I'm not able to put out medicated mineral (with CTC) during the winter months any more & my foot rot has increased, even being diligent about scraping the pasture, moving the bale rings, etc.

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Re: Bad Old Feet ?

Post by talltimber » Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:58 pm

TC, what do you do for your winter time anaplasmosis prevention?

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Re: Bad Old Feet ?

Post by TCRanch » Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:08 pm

talltimber wrote:TC, what do you do for your winter time anaplasmosis prevention?

Nothing yet. Ticks aren't prevalent in the winter months and VFD only good for 6 months but have been discussing the anaplasmosis vaccine with my vet. Effectiveness of CTC in mineral is variable.

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Re: Bad Old Feet ?

Post by Son of Butch » Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:06 am

Stocker Steve wrote:Seems like cows with poorer foot structure do OK when young, but problems start to show up after they are 4 to 6
years old. Rear hooves get longer and they walk tender footed at time. What is the aging related breakdown that
makes this more evident over time?

To live a long life a cow needs to be able to keep herself healthy and free of infection. Blood is the life force of the
body. In my opinion, Good health starts and ends with good blood circulation. Bill Weeks (a Master Holstein breeder) observed that by selecting cows with enough chest room (width and depth) for the heart and lungs to function
better, that his herd foot and udder health were improved. I would add that I believe improved blood circulation
also aids in fertility.... my :2cents:

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Re: Bad Old Feet ?

Post by Nesikep » Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:56 am

Redgully wrote:Get them walking over some rocky land and it will help a lot. I was once told that cattle bred with the thurl closer to the pins than the hip will cause long toes. To me soft ground or not walking enough is the problem.

Never heard of the thurl, and I'm not finding any information with google.. what is it?


Standing around doing nothing will eventually ruin the feet of any cow, especially without trimming, but I have some cow families that just never need hoof care.. It didn't used to be like that, but I've gotten to the point now I haven't touched my hoof nipper in 10 years and I don't miss that job at all. Same goes for split hooves.. the same cows that had generally bad feet would get split hooves, the ones that had generally good feet never had a problem.

I pay close attention to the replacement heifers now, they have to look like they're standing on their toes a bit, and the top side of the hoof should be at a good angle to the ground so they wear the tip of.. As Aaron said, breakdown of the pastern makes it so they stop putting pressure on the tip, it stops wearing, they stand on their heels, and it just keeps getting worse.

At one time we thought dark colored hooves were harder, but from what I can tell it doesn't make a difference.. Cow families that had good hooves have also had white hooves, no problem, the ones that had bad hooves and bred to dark bulls still had problems
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Re: Bad Old Feet ?

Post by Redgully » Mon Dec 24, 2018 6:38 am

Nesikep wrote: Never heard of the thurl, and I'm not finding any information with google.. what is it?


Not sure what it is referred to in different circles but basically just above the stifle. Makes up the triangle of hip, pins and thurl. I was told if the thurl is centered between hip and pin it balances the pelvis and centers the hoof. A bit above me, i haven't delved into it too much. I know all my cattle are closer to the pins than the hip.

I have found during winter if the cattle have a 100m stretch of hard ground with rocks or pebbles they need to walk on every day it keeps their feet tip top.

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Re: Bad Old Feet ?

Post by Ebenezer » Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:47 am

True weak pasterns will shown up in heavy bred heifers. Or at least the most severe cases. Calve them, cull them, chunk out the semen. Older cows can seemingly founder, if the bloodline has that tendency, on great periods of lush grazing and the rear feet struggle to correct themselves more than the front hooves. Those are bloodlines to watch. For any cattle, a balance in perceived body length, leg length, a check of stride, a check of pasterns and hoof claws and avoiding the swayback bulls will fix 95% if those which do not make the cut get out of the genepool. Goldilocks was right: they can be too long, too short, too tall but I want them "just right".

The best thing about videos of sale cattle are the views of foot placement while walking. It tells so much. As a cow ages, if she injures one hoof or leg and a hoof or claw heals improperly, I do not see that as a culling offence if she can keep doing her job. All opinions.

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Re: Bad Old Feet ?

Post by 76 Bar » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:20 pm

Never heard of the thurl, and I'm not finding any information with google.. what is it?

https://westgen.com/thurl-placement/
Insightful regarding top line structure and BCS.
For any cattle, a balance in perceived body length, leg length, a check of stride, a check of pasterns and hoof claws and avoiding the swayback bulls will fix 95% if those which do not make the cut get out of the genepool...The best thing about videos of sale cattle are the views of foot placement while walking.

Absolutely! The number of weak backed/high tail head bulls who subsequently are incapable of tracking correctly e.g. are essentially cripples offered in bull sales is nothing short of appalling.

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