Foot question

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Ross, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 9, 2002
    Is it fair to say black hooves are easier keepers than white hooves? My North County Cheviots almost never need trimming, and practically never get footrot (T goodness) same is true to a lessor degree for my Suffolks and Hamps, Dorsets and Polypays drive me nutz with their feet trimming needs, but the Rideaus are somewhat better, but still not as easy as the black feeted ones. Any thoughts?
  2. Kasidy

    Kasidy Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    It's not even close!!! I have Suffolks and Columbias and a few Cheviots. I never, but never have had to trim a black hoof. But we have to trim the Columbias at least twice a year or it looks like they are wearing skiis. This is one more reason why I have twice as many Suffolks. Since I have nearly all multiple births, I try to trim my ewes before they get very heavy with lamb. Some of them have enough trouble getting around the last few weeks without tripping over long toes. But I have only 50 ewes total--with 17 Columbias. So I can handle trimming that many. It is so dry up here that I have never seen a case of hoof rot. (TG)

    Oddly enough my milk goats are the other way. I trim them every six weeks, but the Nubians grow their dark hooves at a rate to match their ears. The Saanens with their white feet don't give me nearly as much to trim.

  3. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2002
    Now that I think about it, yes, the white hooves do grow faster than the black ones. My dorset rams hooves are constantly needing trimming. I swear that I can see them growing!
  4. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

    May 8, 2002
    central New South Wales, Australia
    I've heard that dark hooves are harder, denser, lesss liable to footrot or other foot problems. In fact, it's conventional wisdom.

    Not as strong, but I've also heard anecdotally that dark-wooled sheep are much less prone to fly-strike. Can't prove it, but let's face it, people who keep dark-wooled sheep are likely to keep smaller flocks, and maybe tend to be less scientifically-minded as well.