On many farms each year, lameness in both beef cattle and cows can cause financial loss. It is well known that the early treatment of this disease is important to maintain weight gain and milk production. An essential requirement is a proper examination of the affected leg and hoof care. We all want fewer lame cows. Lame cows cost money, have a reduced milk yield, are in pain and are a welfare issue along with taking more time and effort to manage.
Don’t delay, treat today!
Early identification, effective treatment of the claw is key to successful herd management.
Reducing lameness requires a planned approach and a commitment from the whole farm team
• Assess what factors that are contributing to lameness
• Diagnose the lameness problems
• Develop an action plan to rectify the problem
The four cornerstones of lameness reduction:
1. Low infection pressure – foot bathing and slurry management
2. Good horn quality and hoof shape – foot trimming
3. Early detection and effective treatment of lame cows – facilities, confidence and competence of staff and mobility scoring
4. Low forces on the feet – good cow flow and cow comfort
Avoid over trimming
The most important thing when trimming cows’ feet is always to err on the side of caution and not take too much off, especially from the inner claw on hind feet.
Having the correct equipment is half the job for good hoof care.
Intracare’s Intra Repiderma Spray is antibiotic-free Repiderma, effective skincare for animals. Cattle farmers, hoof trimmers and veterinarians can now work without antibiotics. Intra Repiderma is the protective hoof and dermal spray that gives visible results after the 1st day and is safe to use for the farmer, the animal, and the environment. Intra Repiderma Spray can be used for skin, Hooves, Navel’s, dehorning and udders.
2. Foot blocks
There are many different types available. Shown here is a fitted shoe type
Cowslips are the only lameness treatment application that provides increased support for the hoof wall. Cowslips are orthopaedic shoes for the treatment of lameness in cattle. Made from highly durable PVC. Fitted to the healthy claw Cowslips take the weight off the affected claw thus alleviating pain and accelerating healing. The cow’s mobility improves weight is gained and milk yield increases. Cowslips are the only application for the treatment of lameness providing increased support for the hoof wall. Cowslips Plus have a unique roll-over toe and tapered sole to assist walking and balance.
The cowslips unique hoof-like design increases the surface area for adhesion ensuring they remain in place for 4-6 weeks before self-shedding. All packs contain shoes adhesive powder liquid hardener and mixing spatula.
Thick latex gloves are ideal but any gloves will do.
4. Hoof knives
1 x left-handed or 1 x right-handed, with a single-edged blade. Narrow blades are generally easier to use and sharpen.
Aesculap hoof knife special hardened narrow blade stainless steel polished with wood handle left or right-handed options. The hoof knife is made of high-quality stainless steel and is equipped with a polished long straight blade with sharp cutting-edge geometry for a long performance. Besides, the best dynamic effect is ensured through the ergonomic redwood handle in combination with the shape of the blade.
5. Hoof trimmers
Quality nippers are a better investment than clumsy choppers
There are several different options for lifting – pictured here is a simple crush attachment.
The Hoofnack Veterinary Hoof Hoist is an award-winning device. Designed for ease of use in those difficult situations where an animal must be examined in detail and it prevents the kind of struggling and strenuous lifting that is so often a part of such an examination
Hoof care is important to cattle, whether beef or dairy. Lame cattle don’t thrive!
Hoof trimming should be done in conjunction with a routine foot bathing regime, prevention is better than the cure. Observe your cows for signs of lameness and take action immediately.
The principle of hoof trimming is weight transfer. Cows should carry equal weight on all eight claws.
Most sores in the claws can be cured by paring and taking the weight off the affected area.
If you are not comfortable hoof timing yourself FRS Hoof Care Service have expertly trained & skilled staff who will call out. They offer services in preventative hoof care and curative care.