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Hoof Trimming: Not About Perfection

27 June 2014

GLOBAL - Hooftrimmers should not be striving for perfection in their work but assessing individual feet and reacting accordingly, says a world leading cattle lameness expert.

The first 45 per cent of the hoof taken off solves 90 per cent of the problems, hoof health consultant Karl Burgi said at the Large Herd Seminar this week.

“Assessing is key - only take away what you have to,” said Mr Burgi. “I have fewer issues now that I am not trimming feet perfectly.”

His message was that cows should be allowed to wear down small bits of uneveness on their own and that a 120 day trimming interval is good to stick to.

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Professor Bergsten assures that cows lying on rubber mats can be avoided

But cows performing well should not be interfered with, he added.

“We cause more problems by over-trimming,” warned Mr Burgi. “If you are getting good yields from a cow, then leave her alone.”

Professor Christer Bergsten of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences said rubber mats benefit farms and are best used at feeding areas and in holding pens.

He added that a minimum depth of 25mm is best.

However, he admitted rubber mats in the wrong place can be costly to install and encourage lying.

Outlining solutions for this, Prof Bergsten said: “This is a problem but it can be avoided by targeting areas of the farm with rubber – feeding areas are ideal.

“If heifers are coming from straw bedding there is more chance of them lying in alleys.”

Michael Priestley

Michael Priestley
News Team - Editor

Mainly production and market stories on ruminants sector. Works closely with sustainability consultants at FAI Farms

 


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