Weak Pasterns

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Terre d'Esprit, May 19, 2006.

  1. Terre d'Esprit

    Terre d'Esprit Boer-ing Mom

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    My son's Saanen 4H doe, Cindi, is just a year old. We bought her last year, when she was a young doeling. Her feet needed trimming when we got her, but it wasn't a huge deal. I noticed that she rocked back on her heels a little, and I thought perhaps I was trimming them incorrectly, but I did not have a problem trimming any of the other goats' hooves.

    Today it occurred to me that no matter how much trimming I do (they are trimmed about every 2-3 weeks), nothing changes. In fact, the older she gets, the worse she looks. I think it's just a matter of her having weak pasterns, and my hoof trimming is just fine.

    I am sad about this, since I just bought a great Boer buck for my meat goat herd, and I was excited to see little boer/saanen crosses. but I don't want to pass on something that could be really debilitating.

    I saw an excerpt from an article about some sort of goat mineral that could strengthen the pasterns, but I'm somewhat skeptical of it, and I wasn't able to see the entire article.

    Is this as bad as it looks to me? Is there a trick to trimming hooves in goats with weak pasterns (trim only the toe, maybe, and none of the heel)? I read that it could mean a weak rear structure, which could amount to kidding problems. I would rather keep her as a permanent pet than to lose her during kidding. It would break my boy's heart.

    Plus, I will not pass on something that is a defect to any offspring, that's just asking for trouble.

    He had hoped to show her next year, but I'm sure this would be a big fault.

    Anyone have any advice?

    Thanks.

    T
     
  2. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    Bose (selenium) is recommended for weak pasterns in new kids, but I don't know if it helps with older animals or not.
     

  3. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    Do take a look at her mineral status, especially Selenium and copper. Deficiencies in these areas can do bad things to joints.
     
  4. Terre d'Esprit

    Terre d'Esprit Boer-ing Mom

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    Thanks for the advice. She does get sweetlix meatmaker free choice. I know she's a dairy goat, but she's the only one in my small herd of boers/boer x goats. Do I need to get separate dairy goat minerals for her?

    The other goats don't have any hoof or joint problems.

    Thanks very much for the advice. It's not something that I had considered.

    T
     
  5. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    Weak pasterns - ugh. I have a doe with ONE weak pastern. I tried trimming just off the toe, none off the heel - it made it far worse, over time. When I started taking off the heel - her pastern improved quite a bit. However, she seems to pass this weakness on - each kid is weak in the very same pastern? What are the odds? Sadly, this doe is great in just about every other way. Great milker, great milking metabolism, dripping with breed character....... Weak pasterns are not cool. I thought the same as you did - faulty trimming.....I still wonder, but some goats do tend toward weak pasterns...Heard the mineral thing too, but about hocks, and knees not pasterns....I guess joints are joints, and it would include the pasterns too.

    Niki
     
  6. Terre d'Esprit

    Terre d'Esprit Boer-ing Mom

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    Niki-

    I am sick about this too. She's a Saanen, and she is just the sweetest thing. She is very feminine, and has great conformation every other way. I was hoping that breeding her to my FB boer buck would increase the chances that the kids would not have it.

    Cindi's toes curl up in the front but because she walks on the heel. Visually it's not as exaggerated as I am describing, but it really bugs me because I can't seem to trim it right. I just trimmed her heels on Friday, and it was stupid because the pastern problem is very noticeable now. I should have just trimmed the toes. Even if it doesn't make it better or compensate for it, at least it will help a little.

    How old is your doe? Does she have problems kidding? I would sell any wethers for meat, but if the pastern problem was passed along to any doe kids, I'd cull them, too. So I feel like I might be able to take the chance in breeding her-- the chance on the kids, that is. I DON'T want to take the chance that it will injure her.

    Thanks for any info.

    T
     
  7. trnubian

    trnubian Twin-Reflection Nubians

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    She is just a yearling, i personally would give it time. It might get better it might not. Selenium DOES help with weak pasterns in growing does and bucks. I have a 2 does that prove that theory. One was milking away everything on her (milking 18 lb. over 2 gallons a day). So the selenium boosts she got every month were worth it to her. my other doe (her full sister) is doing the same thing. However, they came out of it in 2 years when they stopped growing. They just couldn't keep up with growing and milking at the same time, even though they were freshened as 2 year olds.

    I would get her on regular doeses of Bo-Se. Don't give up on one doe because of weak pasterns, Just find a strong boned strong pasterned buck to breed her to. If all the other qualities are there then that would be a poor reason not to breed her.