Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mystery Solved

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 curious 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 shiny so how could there be a problem?  This moose is a perfect example though - she is also fat, sleek and shiny, 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....


  1. OK, this is too much. I'll be mush for the rest of the day. Melted. Like, dead. Though still smiling that silly awww-smile... These are killer photos!! :)

  2. wow that is interesting.
    and the dogs are, of course, adorable. :)

  3. The info on the poor moose from the Kenai Peninsula is certainly revealing. What a perfect "poster child" for your war against poor nutrition. Is that Bess with Farm Buddy? Holy cow, that's a big pup!

  4. Thanks for the info Kris. And FB? By Autumn, you'll be sitting in Bess's lap - that girl is growing!

  5. Interesting about the moose in the picture...

    Those are some big feet that pup is going to grow into!

  6. Awww thanks for the photos of the pups...they brought a huge smile to my face.
    I knew I'd seen that moose photo somewhere! Good research!

  7. Wow that puppy DOES have big feet!

  8. Eons ago [1977] I was one of the first two women who graduated from Olds Colleges Farrier Science Program. We covered nutrition in detail as it has such an impact on hoof quality. My father used horses for his farm work until 1946 and never had hoof problems as his horses were fed well and worked hard. He taught me alot about feeding and working horses.
    As to puppy feet those are spectacular!