I stumbled on this picture of a moose with very overgrown hooves a few days ago when I was looking for photos of goat hooves on Google images. At the time, I couldn't find any attribution for it. However, several people were curios about it and I was too so I did a bit more research about it.
My initial assumption about this animal was that it must have been an orphan raised on a farm. I thought that because you don't normally see something like this on a wild animal. Their feet wear down naturally through movement and the wide variety in their diet generally keeps them from suffering from mineral deficiencies. Lack of exercise, lack of dietary variety and too much sugar are the root cause of hoof problems in domestic animals. Most wild animals avoid these pitfalls.
However, here is this moose, and after looking little harder, I finally found that this photo was attached to this news story from an Alaskan newspaper. It turns out that this is a moose from the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska and this hoof deformity is common in the moose population there. It is caused by a severe copper deficiency and is also seen in moose who eat large amounts of cattle feed (there's the sugar problem).
I think that one of the main reasons many horse and donkey owners are highly resistant to the idea of nutritional problems is that their animals ARE well fed. They look fat, sleek and shiney so how could there be a problem? This moose is a perfect example though - she is also fat, sleek and shiney, but a mineral deficiency will likely be the death of her at some point.
And since Farm Buddy is sick of hearing about hooves and nutrition, she thought we should take a look at some of the other feet around here. Godzilla sized feet....
These were all supposed to be part of Monday's post with the calves, but it was late and the computer crashed again and I was going to have to go to bed or take an ax to the computer. I opted for sleep:)
The prevailing wisdom says that livestock guardian dogs have to be raised with the livestock and NEVER treated like pets or they won't be any good as guard dogs. We have never bought into this notion and Bess is proving it wrong every day. Despite not having been raised with the flock, she loves her sheep and is incredibly good with them. She flows in and around them like a harmless bit of cloud and they love her for it.
Shannon finally had her calf while I was away at the conference. A nice, healthy bull calf.
I can't say that Shannon is the best mom as she is rather nonchalant about her baby, but she does like and feed him so it's OK. She is much better than the last two. Unfortunately, she is still letting one of the big steers from last year drink as well, but as long as the baby gets enough milk it's not terrible. Not yet anyway. The mothering instinct has just been bred out of so many dairy cows.
These two boys are best buddies, playmates and troublemakers.
The mom of the year award goes to Violet, the herd matriarch. She is the big black and white cow in the back. The even bigger black mom-cow in the front with her calf is Queen Ann's Lace (aka, the Queen). She is one of Violet's earlier calves. Those ladies know how to do the job.
Don't you all wish you could stick your tongue up your nose too?
This is Rose, who will, unfortunately, be Violet's last calf. Violet is getting quite old and her udder was damaged a few years ago. She loves her baby, but does not have milk for her so Jane is helping to feed Rose. Violet will retire and we will likely keep Rose. Rose gets to be the recipient of that yellow pail and she too has the tongue skills to take care of that milk mustache.
Jane is still overly fixated on FB, but has calmed down and is being a good milk cow despite also being the most neurotic cow I've ever known. We all have our little foibles right?
Jane does have interesting freckles.
And when the work is done, the puppy gets to lick the bowl. Never, ever let your LGD be a pet right?