Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Advice on foot trimming  (Read 2869 times)

Clarebelle

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Advice on foot trimming
« on: January 25, 2016, 09:06:49 am »
Hi everyone, we are still in our first year keeping sheep and so far I haven't had the issue of foot trimming come up but I got a couple of shetland ewe lambs before christmas and one of them has an overgrown rear foot. The ground is sandy so isn't wet and having observed her over the last few days she has shown no sign of limping/favouring her other feet. It is the outer side of the rear horn which is overgrown, all her other feet look lovely.

They came from a flighty flock but I have managed to get them to start coming to a bucket and they will now come and eat if I am standing in the vicinity but I worry that if I catch the ewe to trim her hoof it will stress her and undo the work ive done with her.

What is peoples advice? Do I need to catch her and trim the hoof regardless of whether it is bothering her or do I leave it alone? Thanks

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Advice on foot trimming
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2016, 09:57:21 am »
Got a photo? :)


If it's not limping or head nodding when it walks then leave it be.  As you are on sand it should wear away.  It may be overgrown from a previous issue (footrot, scald etc).


Do you have a way of penning them?  Trying to "catch" a ewe isn't going to help with taming them, so the best way would be to encourage them to come towards a pen and then shut them in fairly tightly.  Then you can grab the affected ewe and have a closer look, and trim lightly if you think it is required.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Advice on foot trimming
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2016, 10:34:40 am »
If it's not bothering her I would leave it until you have her handy for some other reason - drenching or jabs, for instance - and then, if there's a flap, just trim the flap off.  If there's no flap, I'd leave well alone - they're always telling us that more harm is caused by trimming than is ever solved!
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

verdifish

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • banffshire
Re: Advice on foot trimming
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2016, 11:15:08 am »
If you can see that there is an issue then it's wrong to leave it as it is as it will most likely lead to lameness.
Do you have a friendly Shepherd who could catch and trim for you as the ewe will associate this with the Shepherd and not yourself and shouldn't ruin the trust you've built up.
Burying your head in the sand till she's lame is not the way to go.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Advice on foot trimming
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2016, 11:24:43 am »
I agree and although concrete might eventually wear down an overgrown clee, sandy soil ain't.  Feeding them in a pen that someone can close off behind you is a good idea.  You can always lead them in with the bucket and give them a little feed after treatment, to make them forget it.

Melmarsh

  • Joined May 2014
Re: Advice on foot trimming
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2016, 03:44:05 pm »
If its definitely bothering you and not her, leave it alone !! More damage can be caused by trimming if not necessary than good. I have a ewe that has aweful looking back feet but are not bothering her at all. The recommended advice is leave alone, no regular trimming , trim if a problem only and then depending on the problem encountered.  : :thinking:

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: Advice on foot trimming
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2016, 04:26:07 pm »
The recent Nadis guidance about not trimming unless they are lame came about because some farmers were trimming routinely whether it was needed or not and trimming the feet so excessively and badly that they were causing lameness and granulomas in sheep.


I dont over trim my sheeps feet, I dont make them bleed or cause them to be lame so in my case I dont feel afraid that I will do more harm than good. I trim when their feet are long and overgrown for the same reason that you would file a horses or a donkeys hoof before it turns into something resembling a pair of turkish slippers and affects how they walk.


When the hoof curls under from one side as you describe it can allow grit and stones to get trapped and you could of course leave it and wait to see if that happens. Trimming lambs toes is good practice for the lamb and helps them to feel more relaxed about foot trimming as an adult. I do my sheeps feet with them standing next to a wall and lift the feet as you would with a horse, nice and tight to their body so that they feel secure and balanced. If its your first time and your sheeps hooves are black then I would suggest that you get the vet or someone that really knows what their doing to show you how to trim without taking too much off, especially at the the toe.




You could certainly leave it until you are handling the sheep for other routine tasks and I tend to do that with my sheep. But if she does suddenly goes lame with it, it might be worth considering the feeding pen idea as suggested. It's really not rocket science and no more of a challenge than learning how to inject or deliver a lamb. I'm sure that you will be fine with it.

Clarebelle

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: Advice on foot trimming
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2016, 04:48:06 pm »
Thanks for the advice everyone, even though opinions do seem to be differing! I do have a small area they can be confined to for easy catching and they are due a bolus soon so I'll be bringing them in for that anyway so I'll get a closer look at it then.

princesslayer

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Tadley, Hants
Re: Advice on foot trimming
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2016, 11:41:53 pm »
http://www.nadis.org.uk/bulletins/foot-trimming-of-sheep.aspx

This is the Nadis advice I think, lots of photos and worth a read in conjunction with comments above. I'm a newbie too so I'm always trying to suck in all the information and come up with some kind of plan!
Keeper of Jacob sheep, several hens, Michael the Cockerel and some small children.

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: Advice on foot trimming
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2016, 02:27:13 pm »
The NADIS stuff is good I have a certificate of foot trimming competence from them and used their illustrations to teach foot care and trimming to students as part of my teaching assignments.


A tool I find useful is a horses hoof pick as it helps to gently clear the mud out. Good light is important too and with white toes the light permeates so its easy to see where the toe ends. My tip for the toe is to nibble a bit of at a time if your not sure and keep checking how it looks from above compared with the other toe or foot. You can always take a little bit more off but you cant put it back on.


You get better and more confident with practice as do the sheep  ;) [size=78%]  [/size][/size]And that will come in really handy when you have to do the pigs [size=78%] :innocent:
[/size]


Hellybee

  • Joined Feb 2010
    • www.blaengwawrponies.co.uk
Re: Advice on foot trimming
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2016, 12:42:58 pm »
We don't trim routinely, maybe odd long toe, very rarely we have a lame one.  If you feel you have to take it off, do not go into toe, nibble away like has been said.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2016, 12:48:27 pm by Hellybee »

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Advice on foot trimming
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2016, 03:52:01 pm »
http://www.nadis.org.uk/bulletins/foot-trimming-of-sheep.aspx

This is the Nadis advice I think, lots of photos and worth a read in conjunction with comments above. I'm a newbie too so I'm always trying to suck in all the information and come up with some kind of plan!

I feel vindicated  :relief:.  Thanks for the link!
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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