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dorper hooves

Eileen Stein

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If you don't have hard or rocky soil some Dorpers seem to take after their Dorset ancestors and need trimming a bit more, also of course being slightly more susceptible to related foot issues.


Of all the hair sheep (don't have experience with St. Croix though), I've found them to be least tolerant of neglect or badly drained pastures. I had a friend with Barb/Dorper crosses who had a terrible outbreak of foul feet one rainy season.


I've noticed white hooves are worse than dark hooves, though much easier to clip. You see both in the Dorpers, of course.

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Yeah, that makes a difference. My standard is no more than one trim a year. But I also have a rocky, well-drained pasture. Heavy sheep with dark hooves do well here, they wear their feet down and rarely need trimming. That's my Blue Leisters and Dorsets. The Dorper crosses with black hooves do fine too, then the few heavy Katadhin/wool crosses I've got left, then the worst are the lightweight dorper/katadhin/wool crosses with white colored hooves. I just culled a bunch of them out, partly for that reason.

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Originally posted by tucknjill:

I have found the wool sheep I have get the prize for the worst feet, though even they arent too terrible...I have a moderately wet pasture and no real rocky areas to wear feet down, so that makes the twice a year foot trim necessary.

Same here. I could probably even do more than twice a year on some.
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I have to add my 2 cents on my Dorper experiences - they make awesome meat sheep (and I like the way they look), but it is a bummer that they have to be trimmed more often (I agree with that) because they are HUGE! Oh my aching back!


I'm heading back to katadhins...little ones.


PS - Have a flipper table, but I don't have a chute, so I find I expend as much energy getting them in there as I do catching and flipping them.

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I have foot problems for the first time in as many as ten years. I have a fullblood Dorper ram and bred him to my Coopworth ewes.

The offspring are 2yr. olds now and are showing signs of scald a lot this winter. Their feet are not looking like they have rot. They are firm and strong. I treated with Dr. Naylor's Hoof n Heel and had almost instant results. The sheep that were previously walking on their knees were completely sound the next day.

It is wet here in the PNW - but it is not really an unusual winter.

My Coops had been really good for many-many years.

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I'll add my two bits to Bonnie on PNW area and sheep...namely Dorpers.


I live in a floodplain...last week we had over 15 ft on water on the backside and 4 ft near the house. The sheep were all nestled on the critter pad and this week it still is soggy.


I had Barbs, Coops and Dorsets before...note the key word, "had"...nothing but hoof rot/issues with them. (great moms though!!)


Snce I swtiched to Clun Forest, Katahdin and Dorpers I hardly have a case of foot rot.


My Dorpers have very sturdy feet and have done well in the marsh.


However when I bred my Dorsets, Coops and Barbs to the Dorper, some of the lambs had foot issues. I think it was the Dorsets, Coops and Barbs with the problems.


I really hate having sheep with feet issues so if they are chronic...they are out the door....


I see my Clun Forest standing belly deep in the marsh, eating marsh grass and never have had any issues with them. They are one tough sheep.


This last years crop of 3/4 Dorper yearlings are fine and no foot issues with them. Keeping the fingers crossed




Carnation, WA

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