Hoof Health: How to spot and treat Hoof Rot and Thrush



All livestock with hooves are prone to acquiring this bacterial infection, especially during periods of high moisture or humidity. It is a bacterium that spreads due to lack of oxygen and can have damaging effects on the animal’s feet/health. Hoof rot is caused by the softening and thinning of the inter-digital skin by puncture wounds or continuous exposure to wet conditions, which provides an entry point for infectious agents and bacteria.

Preventative Measures:

  • Waiting to introduce new animals into the herd
  • Manure free areas or dry footing
  • Hoof checks/trims when needed


The Signs:

  • Lameness
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Swelling of the foot
  • Separation of the skin
  • Ulcers, abscesses, abrasion, fractures and inflammation
  • Swollen around hoof with red irritated area

The Treatment:

Clean the areas to be certain lameness is actually due to foot rot, and use a topical treatment on the affected area. Consult a vet for severe cases and proper treatment/diagnosis.

For more information click on the links below:



Thrush is an infection of the central and lateral clefts of the frog of a horses hoof. It is often bacterial and occasionally a fungal infection. This can be an easy fix if caught early, but can cause major damage to the animal if not treated.


More information on thrush

The Signs:

  • Lameness
  • Soft hoof wall
  • Foul smelling, black discharge in the frog of the hoofthrush_2


  • Clean the hoof regularly.
  • Keep the hoof dry.
  • Apply thrush treatment as recommended by your vet.

Preventative Measures:

  • Clean the hoof regularly
  • Dry footing/bedding and clean housing maintenance
  • Regular farrier visits




Why supplement?

Each animal’s needs are different even within species there is major variation, therefore any individual might lack something that their everyday ration might not include. Or if you just want to help boost them though molting, weight loss, or a hard winter, supplementation helps ease any of these transition. By adding adional, calories, minerals, and vitimins you can control the outcome and production of your animal that much more. Mantaining health and providing essential nutrients can help balance your animals diet, and might prevent nutritional issues down the road.

We carry water soluble supplements that can easily be added to clean sources of water or a top feed cover to mix into your animals daily ration.

The links below will direct you to a more comprehenve overview of these supplements, although we don’t carry every one of these, we do special orders if our vendor carries them and can stock the product if highly requested.

MannaPro - Nurturing Life

Manna pro, Calf Manna is one of our most popular supplements and can be used for many species for multiple reasons. check out the link to see if it right for you.

MannaPro - Goat Mineral                                          MannaPro - Calf Manna

We carry many Rooster Booster products in our poultry section, we recently added the multi-wormer and the B-12 Liquid in 32 oz. for multiple species. We also carry Animal Health Solutions probiotics for both Adults and Chicks, a soluble supplement that can be added to their daily water.
Liquid B-12 Photo

Triple Action Multi-Wormer Photo

We carry supplements for all ages and stages of horses, from a variety of vendors. If you are looking to boost the joint action, shine out their coat, put weight on, add minerals and vitimins, or calm them down we can point you to products to help you reach your needs.

Finish Line Horse Supplements                 AniMed Products

Fluid Action HA Liquid

Supplementing your animals diet can have many benefits, but finding the right one  can be hard. With research it wont take long to incorporate a program that works to you and your animal.

The Usual Suspects: Small Strongyle

“I love horses, they’re delicious” – Encysted Small Strongyle. Enter code 35SS96 now, at http://www.GetRotationRight.com/ReportEncysted.

Adult small strongyles live in the large intestine, producing eggs expelled in feces. All 3 major deworming compounds kill adults. However, the worst family members are the encysted larvae that burrow into intestinal walls and contribute to poor condition. The abrupt, large emergence of larvae from the walls can cause a potentially fatal case of colic or severe diarrhea. Only two drugs can kill encysted small strongyles: a five-day larvicidal dose of fenbendazole (Safe-Guard® Power-Dose® or Panacur® Powerpac®) or moxidectin.

Pellets: Why and How?

Have you wondered WHY we at Hunt & Behrens, Inc make pellets for our horse, swine, poultry, and cattle feeds? I’ve included a very informative excerpt from a pellet mill manufacturer that clearly lays out the benefits and reasoning behind the pelleting process.

If you are a VISUAL Learner, here is an outstanding video animation of the pelleting process

The following from the California Pellet Mill Technical bulletin: The Pelleting Process
The Purpose of Pelleting
Pelleted feeds have been defined as “agglomerated feeds formed by extruding individual ingredients or mixtures by compacting and forcing through die openings by any mechanical process”. Basically, the purpose of pelleting is to take a finely divided, sometimes dusty, unpalatable and difficult-to-handle feed material and, by using heat, moisture and pressure, form it into larger particles. These larger particles are easier to handle, more palatable andusually result in improved feeding results when compared to the unpelleted feed.

Pellets are generally formed with diameters from 10/64” to 48/64” and will be somewhat longer than the diameter. A small part of the production of large pellets, 32/64” and above in diameter, is produced in other than cylindrical shapes; they may be triangular, square or oval and, in some cases, may exceed the maximum dimension indicated above. The largest diameter usually found
is rarely greater than 1-1/4” to 1-3/8”. In most cases where particle sizes smaller than 10/64” are desired, it has been found to be more satisfactory from the standpoint of economics to produce a
10/64” or 12/64” pellet and reduce it into the desired particle size by means of crumbling. Almost all livestock feeders agree that animals make better gains on pelleted feed than a meal
ration. The most logical reasons are that:

(a) the heat generated in conditioning and pelleting make the feedstuffs more digestible by breaking down the starches,
(b) the pellet simply puts the feed in a concentrated form
(c) pelleting minimizes waste during the eating process.

When pelleted feed is fed, each animal receives a well-balanced diet by preventing the animal from picking and choosing between ingredients. Tests have shown that most animals, if given the choice between the same feed in pellet or mash form will prefer the pellets.

By combining moisture, heat and pressure on feed ingredients, a degree of gelatinization is produced which allows animals and poultry to better utilize the nutrients in these ingredients. Feed conversion will be improved. These advantages are particularly noticeable in the broiler industry.

The feeding merits of pelleted feeds over the mash form have been repeatedly demonstrated in the feeding of swine. One state college reported the results of an eight week swine feeding test in which pelleted feed performance was compared against the same feed in mash form. This test gave the following results:

All animals, on the average, consumed the same amount of feed (5.06 lb. per day of pellets vs. 5.02 lb. per day of mash), yet the pellet fed pigs gained a quarter of a pound per day more weight than did the mash fed animals (1.76 lb. vs. 1.54 lb. of gain per day). Since the pellet fed hogs gained more while eating the same amount, it is evident that pelleting causes the feed to be utilized more efficiently by these animals. This is shown in the comparison of the averageamount of feed required for each pound of gain. The pellet fed hogs consumed 2.87 lb. of feed per pound of gain while the mash fed hogs needed 3.27 lb. to make a pound of weight gain.
Pellet fed hogs not only gain faster but they do it with less feed for each pound of weight increase.

Pelleting prevents the segregation of ingredients in a mixing, handling or feeding process. By feeding a pelleted feed, the animal is more apt to receive a totally mixed ration than one that has
separated through these processes. It also prevents waste. Bulk density is increased, which enhances storage capabilities of most bulk facilities. Shipping facilities are also increased,
thereby reducing transportation costs. This is particularly evident in such fibrous ingredients as alfalfa, gluten feed, oat hulls, rice, bran, etc.. A better flow and handling characteristic of pellets is one of the least mentioned advantages but probably the most important, particularly as it relates to dairy farmers.

In 1978, there were 9,977 feed mills registered with FDA producing 78.2 million tons of feed annually; about 60% is pelleted. Not all feed mills, of course, are equipped to pellet feeds. In
1958, these mills produced 40 million tons of feed and about 55% was pelleted. In 1968, about 70% of all commercial poultry feed produced in the United States was pelleted. In the Midwest,
almost 80% of all manufactured feed is pelleted, crumblized or cubed.

The process of producing feed pellets can roughly be described as a plastic molding operation of the extrusion type. Feed ingredients are made up of various compounds such as proteins, acids,
sugars, fibers, and minerals. These products can be softened (conditioned) by the addition of heat and water. When sufficiently controlled compression is applied to the “conditioned” feed
ingredients, they will form a dense mass, shaped to conform to the die against which they are pressed. When the heat and moisture is again withdrawn (dried and cooled) as to withstand
moderately rough handling without excessive breakage and has retained or enhanced its nutritive value.

In modern feed mills, the ingredients are usually stored in bins above a weighing system composed of one or more scales. Those ingredients which are of coarse texture, such as whole
grains and other fibrous materials, are ground into a fine meal to facilitate the pelleting and mixing process. Weighted quantities of each ingredient (either as a batch or continuously) are
thoroughly mixed (either in a batch mixer of a continuous flow mixing unit) and then conveyed to a bin above the pellet mill. Some manufacturers have installed systems to grind all of their
premixed materials prior to entering the pellet mill. Data is not available which indicates this has been an advantage or disadvantage on a consistent basis as far as durability is concerned.