Its been a interesting few weeks when it comes to foot care on the farm, in a number of ways, with the cold weather, socks/boots have become much more common on the farm, instead of crocks which are my standard wear unless hiking or walking.
My feet are feeling the effects of being in the socks and shoes and are requiring more care, when you work out in the morning chores and get a sweat going, its important to remember to change those socks out for dry ones when you get to the house otherwise, you risk having issues on your feet, same as it take them awhile to get back to use to being confined for hours at a time.
However I am not the only one that has been requiring foot care lately, so far a sheep, a rabbit, rooster and purrpot have all required extra foot care from me lately..
My one ewe had a slightly limp, it almost looked like she had a good hard head butt to the shoulder in a power move so the first day I noticed it, I went huh, keep an eye on that, not better on the second day, in fact now it was a clear limp favoring the right front leg, so catch and checkup, a small foot crack, so needed to clean the foot, do a good foot trim, a proactive foot rince and soak.
There is nothing quite as fun as making a sheep stand with a foot in a pan for five min, and you have to take enough water to do a good rinse out first, and then make your clean pan with soak in it, thankfully within a matter of 72 hours rapid improvement was seen and now no limp is there at all but will need to put her on a month foot check for a bit instead of a qaurterly check.
The came the rabbit, now the hutches have a inside area that has a wood floor and a straw or hay bedding, and this really helps prevent sore hocks, however the one rabbit is in love with being out on her wire floor, she just likes to watch the world go by, she is a very clever rabbit and I think she finds it boring inside and more interesting outside, well I noticed that she was having a bit of a kick foot when I was doing her feed, so took a good hard look and she had just one sore hock, must have knicked it on a peice of loose wire, needless to say, it was a hold her down, clean it out, and put my homemade stinging nettle apple cider drench on it, (as she would lick the area, its important to use things that won’t make her sick), boy she was unhappy the first time it got done, but by the second or third time, she had figured out that it was going to happen and that it felt better afterwards, took five days to get her hock into solid healing mode..
Then came a rooster with a scale lump, dang it, that is clearly a issue, but also easily solved.. time to use basic cooking oil to coat his foot and smuther the mite that was causing the issue, easy enough..
However that is only half the issue, the bigger one being what was causing his immune to dip enough that it could inflame.. so cleaned the bedding, dewormed the flock, and added a little extra parasite deducing goodies to their dust bath box..
Then came the purrpot, she seemed to be favoring her right front foot, but I kept checking her leg and shoulder area, all seemed fine, no issues, check her weight, it was good, checked her coat, healthy and good, checked her eyes, looked good, checked attitude, yup, she was all I am kitty hear me meow!
Hmm but something had to be a issue, she jumped down from four feet and gave a little yip when landed, back to checking her out, well dang, if one of her little claws had not grown out and she was no longer able to retrack it, she has very long fur on her paws so even if I pushed them all the way out, you still can’t see her claws without parting the fur, so I needed to clip the nail and then pull the part out of her little pad, thankful I caught it before it got infected or went very deep but still felt bad, that I didn’t catch it on my first or second look at the leg/foot, she is a old kitty, she will be 15 this year and when I read up about it, seems it happens sometimes to older kitty’s so I will to watch and trim that nail for her from now on. No meds required, she looks after it very well and it healed beautifully.
At first it seemed kind of odd to me when I looked at the farm book and noticed that so many different critters required a little extra foot, hoof, hock, paw or claw care in such a short time, but then I looked at the different causes and thought almost all of the are related to the time of year to some degree..
Me-Cold needing more shoes and boot time, Sheep, fall rains, wet pastures and wet feeding area’s, rooster, more pen time, less free range time, again lots of wet from rains, less dust bathing chances, the rabbit, more time out on the wire in the pen because the cooler temps mean she is not hiding in the shade/wooden part of her hutch more, and the cat is the odd one out!
So how about you guys, are you finding you need to baby your toes a little more with the extra footwear that colder weather brings your way?