NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Soft hooves?  (Read 353 times)

tommytink

  • Joined Aug 2018
Soft hooves?
« on: April 25, 2019, 08:42:22 am »
Had the vet out yesterday for a lame sheep. Whilst treating they commented that the hooves felt softer than they’d expect and suggested getting a mineral block/salt lick to put out for the flock. I’ve been trying to look online but can’t see much about it??
I know there’s a ewe and lamb supplement block but has anyone used one for general use? And am I right in reading that sheep can’t have copper?
Voss Electric Fence

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Soft hooves?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2019, 08:58:37 am »
I like the Mole Valley foot and fertility buckets, but anything with extra zinc and biotin will do the job. Any bucket that’s suitable for sheep won’t have any extra copper in, but don’t feed cattle mineral buckets as they will have copper added.

tommytink

  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: Soft hooves?
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2019, 09:24:26 am »
It seems quite a popular thing for horses but again think this has copper in.
Just off to the farmer’s co-op so will hopefully be able to pick something up there  :fc:

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Soft hooves?
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2019, 02:23:47 pm »
Get some Himalayan rock salt.  Buy it in chunks in 25kg sacks, it’s ridiculously expensive if you buy the little ones on a rope from the equestrian section ;).

We use that year round for everyone, and add the tailored mineral buckets at specific times, mainly pre-calving and pre-lambing.

Everyone loves the rock salt, and it’s safe for all the species.  The Rockies licks or similar are often left untouched, and it’s yellow only for sheep, red for cattle and horses and don’t let the sheep get at it... nightmare  ::)

Personally we avoid licks that contain soya or other feed.  We don’t give them licks for feed but for minerals.  And they eat them greedily if they contain feed, and they’re expensive ;).  Whereas they do like the molasses only (no cereal) licks, and seem to only take what they need, which is good.  Again, don’t let the sheep get at one that’s suitable for cattle.  Many brands do one that’s suitable for all stock (but may leave cattle short on copper.)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

tommytink

  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: Soft hooves?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2019, 09:35:19 pm »
So I got the co-op’s mineral lick, a 3-in-1 ewe care with added zinc and biotin for hooves. We’re worried now the whole flock has these softer-feeling feet. Not the sort of thing we would’ve thought about or noticed, not knowing how hard a “normal” hoof should feel to compare. We’ll prob attempt a checkover of them all which will be a trial no doubt!
Anyway, the tub’s been out and seen one or two have a lick but not exactly swarming round it which is what the vet said would prob happen. Starting to think our sheep are awkward. We chose mountain sheep who supposedly have good feet! They’re on grass all the time and we wondered if that was what could cause this softer hoof? But then all sheep are on grass, and no matter how short it is the hooves are in it. I don’t know  ???
I thought the vet said salt lick, but the OH said mineral block. I think now she did say both, but what does a salt lick do? I mean, how does salt help?

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Soft hooves?
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2019, 10:05:55 pm »
The zinc and biotin will help feet more than salt. I expect your sheeps feet will dry up over the summer and the zinc and biotin will help strengthen the good wall to stop it going brittle

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Soft hooves?
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2019, 01:07:43 am »
We’ve had a lot less feet problems since we put Himalayan rock salt out year round.  The rock salt is full of minerals

Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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