Why Hoof Trimming?
Ensuring happy, healthy cows through preventative hoof trimming is our priority at Agri-Trim Hoof Care. Lameness in cattle is one of dairy farmers’ biggest expenses – and one of the most preventable. That’s where we come in. Experts recommend preventative hoof trimming twice a year. Waiting until dairy cattle are already lame has greatly diminished milk production by the time lameness is discovered. The true cost of lameness includes not only the extra cost of treating chronic lameness issues, but also the total cost of milk lost and feed wasted, in addition to likely fertility issues. Preventative hoof care keeps cows comfortable and less likely to have problems – and your dairy farm at its most productive.
FAQs about Dairy Cattle Hoof Trimming
Q: How often should I trim my cows’ hooves?
A: Experts recommend twice-a-year trimming; once before dry off and at mid-lactation (about 120 days).
Q: Why should I pay for a professional hoof trimmer instead of DIY?
A: Many farms that only do in-house hoof trimming, struggle to keep up with the demand for comprehensive hoof care. Although it is a good idea to have the availability of a chute on the farm for issues that need to be addressed immediately, we recommend maintaining a preventative schedule with high quality hoof trimming provided by a trained and certified hoof trimmer with safer, faster equipment that allows for better foot views and more accurate trimming. A professional hoof trimmer is focused on one task – cattle lameness. Having the safety, speed, and accuracy of a professional hoof trimmer makes hoof care management more effective and affordable.
A: Dairy farmers will see a decrease in milk production, feed loss (lame and uncomfortable cows don’t eat correctly and consequently waste feed), fertility issues (lame cows are less likely to become pregnant – wasted semen), higher hoof trimming and veterinary costs down the line to diagnose and treat severe lameness issues, and earlier than desired culling. Cows suffer; production suffers; the dairy farmer suffers.
Q. What does lameness in cattle actually cost?
A: In a study published in 2010 in Preventative Veterinary Medicine, researchers calculated that the cost of lameness in cattle was up to $216 per cow. The study cites the cost of treatment, lost milk, and reduced fertility. Due to rising feed and operational costs since 2010, this number is likely much higher today.
Q: What is Agri-Trim Hoof Care’s service area?
A: Agri-Trim Hoof Care serves all Kansas dairy cattle farmers, but we are also willing to coordinate visits to surrounding states, such as the Texas panhandle, western Missouri, southern Nebraska, and eastern Colorado. For longer travel distances, we often recommend producers coordinate with other local farmers who might also need to schedule a trimming day to make our visit the most efficient and affordable for everyone. In Kansas, Agri-Trim Hoof Care mainly serves Nemaha County, Marshall County, Washington County, Franklin County, Reno County, Sedgwick County, and western Kansas. If you are within a reasonable distance of Kansas and are not sure whether we can help – please give us a call and we will work with you to coordinate something that will benefit everyone.
A: Agri-Trim Hoof Care uses Appleton Steel Hydraulic Hoof Trimming Chutes which are safe for both cows and the trimmer, minimize wait time, and provide a clear view for accurate trimming and diagnosis.
Q: How can I prevent lameness in cattle?
Agri-Trim Hoof Care follows expert guidelines for hoof care that recommend twice annual maintenance trimming. Best practices for hoof care include performing regular locomotion scoring to allow dairy management to keep a close eye on herd health before cattle lameness develops. Additional strategies for lameness prevention:
·Provide properly designed and maintained stalls
·Minimize heat stress
·Flooring should provide good traction, but minimal wear
·Practice maintenance trimming (2X/year)
·Provide therapeutic trimming
·Properly maintain and administer foot baths
·Maintain a clean and dry environment
·Minimize abrupt ration changes to reduce rumen upsets
·Strive to maximize animal health
·Provide nutritionally balanced diets
·Provide properly mixed and delivered rations
·Formulate rations to minimize sorting
·Feed diets with proper micronutrient fortification
·Feed trace minerals from Zinpro Performance Minerals® sources for improved claw integrity
Information courtesy of Zinpro.