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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would really appreciate opinions on this if you have one.

I have an 11 month old Nigerian Dwarf that is absolutely amazing except she has really weird back feet. I need to get pictures. Her hooves curve inward like crescent moons and I need to trim her every two weeks, sometimes more often, and no amount of trimming makes her hooves look "normal". Because of this I decided she shouldn't be bred despite being from amazing lines.

Two of my breeder friends want kids from her and I told them I'm not breeding her because of the feet. Both of them plus one other long-time breeder friend all said they never care about feet, just everything else, especially udders and milk production. I've had goats for a long time but have only officially been breeding since 2019 so I'm a noob in the grand scheme of things.

Is it that common to knowingly breed a goat that has a defect? Their point is it doesn't cause her any pain, she walks normal and has good conformation and could be bred to my buck that has such amazing feet that he only needs to be trimmed twice a year.

I'm totally on the fence. I've had her mom for years and my friend owns her grand dam. Her sire was my buck for a couple of years and none have issues so it is likely just a fluke, but I don't know. If I did end up breeding her and anyone had an issue I would absolutely not register them but it doesn't feel entirely right. Am I overthinking things?
 

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Bad feet are bred all the time, for one because some people don’t care or even bother to trim theirs, and for two because those that do trim, just trim them more often and keep them nice so it doesn’t cause problems, like you are doing. In my experience, feet are not a much focused on thing at all, like the friend that told you she never cares about feet. In my opinion that’s not a good thing, but to each their own.
As to if you breed her or not, that’s really your own decision. There’s really no way of knowing if they’d take after good foot dad, or bad foot mom, it’s just a gamble. 🤷‍♀️
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bad feet are bred all the time, for one because some people don’t care or even bother to trim theirs, and for two because those that do trim, just trim them more often and keep them nice so it doesn’t cause problems, like you are doing. In my experience, feet are not a much focused on thing at all, like the friend that told you she never cares about feet. In my opinion that’s not a good thing, but to each their own.
As to if you breed her or not, that’s really your own decision. There’s really no way of knowing if they’d take after good foot dad, or bad foot mom, it’s just a gamble. 🤷‍♀️
So true! Maybe I will breed her and just see. She's an amazing girl and would make the most phenomenal mom. From birth I touch all my does udders and teats on a regular basis and now she just squats like go ahead and milk me. ♡ If I did breed her, I would wait and watch the kids feet and if they were wonky, I just wouldn't register them. It's such a total crapshoot and I don't know why it surprises me so much that so many people don't care.

Before I got my first Nigerian Dwarfs in 2019 I fostered Toggenburgs. Those girls were so rough! They had completely rotten feet (three generations of does) but I don't think the person that originally had them took care of their feet at all so it may not have even been genetic. It seriously stuck with me so feet are huge for me. One of them literally couldn't walk when I got her. It was a great experience to watch them heal and go from feral to loving, unable to walk to running and jumping and I wouldn't change it but it definitely has made me foot sensitive I think.

Sorry for going on and on. I super appreciate your opinion! Very good points.
 

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I would breed her and just watch the kids' feet since you have a buck with really nice feet. I have a doe that has permanently bad feet from her previous owners not trimming them often enough. I don't think feet should be ignored in breeding considerations but if you make sure to pair her with bucks that have nice feet the kids should be fine.
 

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Its a 50- 50 chance the offspring will have her feet. Most offspring are a mixture of up to 5 generations on both sides. The Buck will dominate on certain features. So I would go ahead and breed her. You are aware of the situation, and you have buyers that are aware of it also.
 

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Feet are tough. So many people don't care about feet as long as the udder is nice, but the feet are what supports the whole animal! I don't think people take feet as seriously as they should. I've had a couple goats with bad feet and they absolutely do pass it on to their kids. But not always. Remember that if you breed, these kids will have YOUR herd name on them. It's YOUR reputation. You have to decide what you're comfortable with. If she's a really exceptional animal otherwise, you can always breed her and sell the kids unregistered if they don't turn out. With my kids with bad feet, I couldn't tell at birth but I could tell by the time they were weaned and ready for new homes.
 

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If she doesn't have a lot of problems out of them, and she's got a great disposition, then why not give her a go. See how her first kids turn out. Like stated above, if they don't turn out like you hoped, you can sell them as unregistered.
 

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Agreed with everyone else. The buck could improve them. In which case I'd keep the ones improved and not register the ones that took after the dam. If it is just more trimming and not causing form or support issues, ehhhh. Some people don't care about that. I have a specific hoof I like. All of my keeper does after my purge this year have this hoof I prefer. Nice deep heel, not too much growth over a month or two, cleans up super nice with trims, semi-closed toes, and wide hooves. I like the width of each half to be nice and wide. I have some that are very narrow from heal to toe and I hate those, they're hard to maintain and it seems like they don't have much to walk on. I also don't like super tight toes, and I don't like super open toes. Tight with some slight openness to them. I know standard wise they prefer tight toes. But I think they do a little better with a touch of spread.

But like it's said above, feet and legs are important. That's why we choose a buck that improves. Keep the ones that are improved so you can continue your line with all her other nice attributes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I would breed her and just watch the kids' feet since you have a buck with really nice feet. I have a doe that has permanently bad feet from her previous owners not trimming them often enough. I don't think feet should be ignored in breeding considerations but if you make sure to pair her with bucks that have nice feet the kids should be fine.
That's a really good point, thank you! All of my bucks have good feet but one is phenomenal. I will try it. Worst case scenario I'll just not register them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Its a 50- 50 chance the offspring will have her feet. Most offspring are a mixture of up to 5 generations on both sides. The Buck will dominate on certain features. So I would go ahead and breed her. You are aware of the situation, and you have buyers that are aware of it also.
True, both buyers are fully aware. And almost everyone on both sides have good feet except her grandparents, I just learned as a friend of mine recently bought him. Dam is great, sire is good and I think they could be okay paired with one of my fellas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Feet are tough. So many people don't care about feet as long as the udder is nice, but the feet are what supports the whole animal! I don't think people take feet as seriously as they should. I've had a couple goats with bad feet and they absolutely do pass it on to their kids. But not always. Remember that if you breed, these kids will have YOUR herd name on them. It's YOUR reputation. You have to decide what you're comfortable with. If she's a really exceptional animal otherwise, you can always breed her and sell the kids unregistered if they don't turn out. With my kids with bad feet, I couldn't tell at birth but I could tell by the time they were weaned and ready for new homes.
I 100% agree and thank you. So true. I didn't know with this girl until after she was registered but planned to retain her anyway. I will definitely wait and not register any kids with issues. I had one once with a tiny bump on her teat and sold that doeling for the price of a wether, unregistered and to a pet only home. I won't pass on anything questionable.

She's definitely exceptional otherwise and has an elite grandsire. I don't show but it's still very important for me to have high quality animals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If she doesn't have a lot of problems out of them, and she's got a great disposition, then why not give her a go. See how her first kids turn out. Like stated above, if they don't turn out like you hoped, you can sell them as unregistered.
Thank you. So very true. Yes, she's the literal sweetest. She knows her name and will come when I call her, she'll run right up and jump on the milk stand to get brushed or get her feet trimmed and is all around amazing. The thought of not breeding her or selling her made me cry, LOL. (I know all goat people can completely relate to that.)
 

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Thank you. So very true. Yes, she's the literal sweetest. She knows her name and will come when I call her, she'll run right up and jump on the milk stand to get brushed or get her feet trimmed and is all around amazing. The thought of not breeding her or selling her made me cry, LOL. (I know all goat people can completely relate to that.)
Then, I'd go for it! Give her a try. And remember, if kids don't turn out first time, there's always a second try😉.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Agreed with everyone else. The buck could improve them. In which case I'd keep the ones improved and not register the ones that took after the dam. If it is just more trimming and not causing form or support issues, ehhhh. Some people don't care about that. I have a specific hoof I like. All of my keeper does after my purge this year have this hoof I prefer. Nice deep heel, not too much growth over a month or two, cleans up super nice with trims, semi-closed toes, and wide hooves. I like the width of each half to be nice and wide. I have some that are very narrow from heal to toe and I hate those, they're hard to maintain and it seems like they don't have much to walk on. I also don't like super tight toes, and I don't like super open toes. Tight with some slight openness to them. I know standard wise they prefer tight toes. But I think they do a little better with a touch of spread.

But like it's said above, feet and legs are important. That's why we choose a buck that improves. Keep the ones that are improved so you can continue your line with all her other nice attributes.
Yesss! You and I are so alike in that area. I've sold many because of narrow feet, etc. This gal in question has dream front feet -- nice and wide and easy to maintain. They maybe only need to be trimmed every 2 months. Her back hooves are impossibly narrow and curve inward in a strange way and really need to be trimmed every two weeks. It's maddening. But she's got great legs and a lovely build. Deep and wide and beautiful. My gut tells me she'll have an amazing udder, too.

I absolutely wouldn't register any with her issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Trim her if she needs it and is she getting loose salt and minerals?
Could be a deficiency.
Do you know what kind of deficiency could cause misshapen back hooves from birth? I suppose anything's possible but they get high quality free choice loose minerals 24/7, a monthly dose of replamin gel, zinc top dressing because our well water is high in iron and regular copper boluses (plus selenium and calcium during pregnancy, vitamin B during any potential stressful time like kidding or fourth of July when idiot neighbors shoot high powered rifles, etc). Is it possible that only one goat in a small herd of 13 could have a deficiency when no one else does, including dam and siblings?

I trim her back feet every other week so that's definitely not an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Then, I'd go for it! Give her a try. And remember, if kids don't turn out first time, there's always a second try😉.
Truth. I will try it then. You've all convinced me (though I anticipated it going the other way to be honest). Good timing too because according to my meticulous record keeping, she should be going into heat tomorrow. ❤
 
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