Other foot problems: more detail

Shelly hoof

The exact cause of shelly hoof is unknown. There are three main ideas on what could cause it, although they could also overlap. The first is nutrition: inadequate intake of nutrients would lead to poor hoof health, which could then be damaged by stones, thorns, etc. The second is that it has a genetic basis, although research so far has only found a very small genetic component to it. The last idea is that it may be caused by a fungus – this is what is thought to be the cause of a similar condition in horses. Until more research is done, the exact cause cannot be confirmed.


Granulomas are often caused by over-trimming. They are the result of the body trying to heal the damage caused by cutting in to the sensitive live tissue of the foot. They can also occur if footrot is left un-treated for long periods of time. Granulomas are very easy to avoid if the flock doesn’t get foot trimmed and if footrot is treated quickly using antibiotics.

White line abscess

Abscesses are often caused by an outside object causing a cut or puncture in the sensitive hoof tissue and leading to infection. Keeping your flock away from sharp thorned bushes and stony ground will help prevent abscesses.

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