LIMOUSIN TODAY October_LimToday_WEB - Page 39

Management they’re missing their track, there’s probably a structural problem in the hock, the hind leg or the front end.” down, the outside toe is going to get small, the inside toes are going to grow and we’ve got some serious issues.” Bedwell posed this question to the audience: “If you had to pick two heifers in the pen, one was post-legged, and one was sickle-hocked, which one would you pick?” When selecting young bulls, he suggests to look at heel depth. There’s a problem if the heel line is on the ground. “There’s not enough depth of heel. Sometimes we can get these animals too weak in their pastern. We would prefer some flex in that pastern versus something that’s too tight and restricted. But if there’s not enough depth of heel and strength in the pastern, what happens to this foot? It starts to grow out and then we have some long-term problems,” he says. The correct answer is sickle-hocked. “We’d definitely prefer that extra leg set, that extra reach to the hind leg. Aesthetically, maybe not as correct or what is ideal, but functionally, long-term speaking, you’re going to get a lot more good out of those females.” If you’re still not sure, look at the dew claws. “If the dew claws are pointing back at you, you’re ok. If the dew claws are pointing out, you’ve probably got a hock problem of being too bow-legged. If the dew claws are pointing in, you’re probably a little cow-hocked.” So, which one of those structural imperfections would you rather have, bow-legged or hocking in? “Hocking in, definitely. Being a little cow-hocked, functionally long term, longevity, there are a lot of cows out their like that. Maybe not ideal, but a lot better than the bow-legged animal because they’re going to put too much pressure on the outside of their hoof wall. That hoof wall is going to grind What you want to stay away from is an animal that’s too straight up and