Diamond Hoof Care https://diamondhoofcare.com Call Now: 1 (800) 617-8908 Thu, 21 Sep 2017 19:47:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 Forage banking: no worries over summer feed supplies https://diamondhoofcare.com/forage-banking/ https://diamondhoofcare.com/forage-banking/#respond Tue, 05 Sep 2017 12:00:41 +0000 http://diamondhoofcare.com/?p=3920 The post Forage banking: no worries over summer feed supplies appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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As we all know, summer is a very busy time on the farm. It’s also a time when feed supplies get scarce and metabolic stress in cows is more common.

In my hoof-trimming days, I had a client who told me that a “forage bank” had helped him eliminate stress on his farm. What I want to do today is share this idea, helping you create a safety net that will keep both you and your cows stress-free.

Metabolic stress – the physiological effect of trauma, illness, or injury – is a leading cause of lameness. It can happen in any lactation period and at any time of the year. However, we see it more often in the summer. An increase in acidosis is a contributing factor to metabolic stress and possible lameness. We can observe it in a fresh cow that has had a hard time getting started after calving. It’s also a threat when the silage pit gets empty too soon, and rations slip out of balance.

Farmers can run out of feed before the harvest ends for a number of reasons. It is unfortunate to find yourself short in April and having to buy three months’ worth of supply from elsewhere. Not only is this very costly, but the switch also produces a noticeable fluctuation in the herd’s rations. Of course, some things are out of our control. On the bright side, others we can prevent from happening.

Forage banking

As I said, forage banking is something like creating a safety net. It ensures that you won’t run out of feed. In addition, it helps you keep tighter control over feed levels.

And here is how it works. During harvest season in the initial year, you store an extra forage supply in the pit for an additional four to five months. This is only a one-time inventory stockpile that will create a buffer zone to offset the most stressful season. This will make your ‘forage year’ to run from November to November.


Forage banking ensures you won’t run out of feed by giving you tighter control over feed levels.
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Benefits of forage banking

  1. Green (fresh) and moldy forage is hard on the cows. So, when we have a forage bank with fermented silage that is neither, we can keep the feed rations in balance. We’ll thus prevent metabolic stress in the herd while waiting for the new feed to be ready.
    forage banking

    Figure 1. Example of forage banking in use.

  2. Summer is a busy season on the farm, what with all the field work and other chores. They don’t leave us with spare time to deal with extra lame cows. By having a forage bank, we minimize the stress and time commitment that go with buying outside forages when our reserves run out early.
  3. Life on a family farm sometimes means having our kids around and participating in summer activities. In such cases, we may reduce farm work to a minimum. This brings us back to the situation I described in the entry above.
  4. The hot and humid summer weather makes cows more prone to heat stress. It’s therefore essential that we try to avoid adding metabolic stress, which is very hard on the animals.
  5. We are not looking for any additional cows to trim, especially not in the already busy summer season. Keeping balanced rations will reduce stress in the animals and result in fewer cases of lameness.
  6. During harvest season, our nutritionists are most likely busy taking samples of new forages. This means they don’t have much time to balance emergency rations. Being prepared and knowing when we will run low can help us deal with these challenges.

Some other remarks

One important measurement we can use when creating a forage bank is an annual “quantity budget” for our forages. We can calculate how much forage we need and how much we have in storage to determine the break-even point. With this calculation, we can measure the quantity we need to store. Before we know it, we’ll also be increasing profits. The cows are healthier, their summer heat and metabolic stress hover at a minimum, and less lameness occurs. Last but not least, we get to reduce our own stress levels by setting up a forage bank. The result is a summer of more enjoyment!

We do recommend that you consult with your nutritionist on the proper rations to feed. Make sure that you also talk to your veterinarian about summer heat and metabolic stress.

If you have any other questions about foraging banking, or any suggestions, feel free to contact me through the Contact page.

One more thing…

You can also download a printable copy of this article – great for sharing with someone else! 

Canadian Non Antibiotic Medication Hoof Care

Intracare BV Hoof-fit Gel Non-Antibiotic Medication for Cattle

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The post Forage banking: no worries over summer feed supplies appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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Slippery barn floors? Water to the rescue! https://diamondhoofcare.com/slippery-barn-floors/ https://diamondhoofcare.com/slippery-barn-floors/#respond Tue, 08 Aug 2017 12:00:26 +0000 http://localhost/wordpress/?p=228 The post Slippery barn floors? Water to the rescue! appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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Slippery barn floors can make it quite the challenge to keep your cows on all fours.

Concrete surfaces become smooth over time because of general wear. On hot summer days, floors caked with manure can lead to cow accidents and harm. The manure seems to just stick to the surface, rendering it as slippery as a skating rink. Still, there are solutions to control and avoid unpleasant occurrences.

Dairy herd owners can solve the problem of manure-caked floors by keeping them wet. Obviously, they will be walking a fine line to balance hot weather, adequate ventilation, and prudent water usage.

Yannick Blanchette has found a way to reduce slipping in the barn.  

“Daily spraying of the floors with our John Deere rig helps our cows to stay mobile and confident.” -Yannick Blanchette of La Presentation Holsteins, Quebec.

Yannick’s team uses the John Deere Gator daily in the summer. This, in turn, helps them reduce the build-up of manure on the floors. It also keeps the grooves clean and Agri-Traction open to provide adequate traction to the animals.


“Daily spraying of the floors with our John Deere rig helps our cows to stay mobile.”
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“This John Deere Gator has been a great tool for preventing cows from going down.”

 

A lame cow on a slippery floor is double trouble!

For achieving optimum results, you should trim your cows regularly. This will keep additional troubles at bay.

Producers can visit our trimming page for more information on hoof diseases and trimming. For you, as a producer, understanding the different hoof diseases is obviously important to prevent any hoof care and lameness problems.

Pour un vue d’ensemble sur les maladies des onglons en français.

Meet Yannick Blanchette

Yannick operates his 200-cow dairy farm together with his wife Eve and their family partners. Their farm is in La Presentation, Quebec (Canada). Yannick also provides hoof care supplies in Quebec.

Learn more about Yannick on his website or contact him via Facebook.

Sabot Solution logo

One more thing…

You should download a printable version of this article, and then share it with a friend and/or colleague!

Canadian Non Antibiotic Medication Hoof Care

Intracare BV Hoof-fit Gel Non-Antibiotic Medication for Cattle

Press release February 25, 2016. Intracare BV produces Hoof-fit Gel: the first Canadian non-antibiotic medication for hoof...
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The post Slippery barn floors? Water to the rescue! appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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Sand bedding: does it increase lameness? https://diamondhoofcare.com/sand-bedding/ https://diamondhoofcare.com/sand-bedding/#respond Tue, 08 Aug 2017 12:00:23 +0000 http://diamondhoofcare.com/?p=3242 The post Sand bedding: does it increase lameness? appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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sand bedding facebook

Figure 1. Sand bedding in use. Photo taken at Evert and Lys Veldhuizen, Oxford Centre, Ontario.

Have you wondered whether your switch to sand bedding might be increasing lameness in your dairy herd? If so, you’re not alone in having such thoughts.

As one producer recently told me, they converted to sand bedding about a year ago, and it seems as if their lameness rate is going up. He explained that their problem seems to be mostly white line defects that often appear in two or more feet. Their professional hoof trimmer has tried different trimming methods, doing his best to control the situation. The floor is quite wet, causing the hoofs to be soft, and the barn is filled to capacity. Struggling to deal with the lameness issues, the producer turned to me for some answers.

I have trimmed some herds that are on sand bedding. However, I’m certainly not an expert on sand bedding. For this reason, I’ll offer some suggestions rather than answers.

Research on sand bedding

Let me start by directing you to a research paper that Dairy Science published a while back. It carries the title, “Effects of Sand and Straw Bedding on the Lying Behavior, Cleanliness, and Hoof and Hock Injuries of Dairy Cows.” You should pay particular attention to Table 3 on page 575. The study results show that hoof problems decrease with the use of sand for bedding. This has also been our experience with sand. In my opinion, it’s fair to say that good quality sand in itself is not to blame for the increase in problems in your herd. Cows love sand and prefer it for their bedding. Let me note again that we are talking about good quality sand. Some kinds are very sharp and will cause hoof problems.

So, what else can you consider when looking for a possible connection between sand bedding and lameness?


Results show that hoof problems decrease with the use of sand for bedding.
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1. Soft hooves

The producer I mentioned said they had a lot of moisture, suggesting that it was causing softness of the hooves. However, moisture is not the direct cause of such problems. Still, it’s always best to have the floors clean and dry. The dryer, the better!

2. Overall health

Have you noticed any increase in other overall disorders, like mastitis or DA? They might be the cause of laminitis as they can result in poor, thus weaker, horn production. These are major causes of lameness and have no direct relationship to sand bedding.

3. Slippery floors

Due to the sand, I cannot believe that the floors are slippery. However, slippery floors can result in a higher occurrence of hoof problems.

4. Slopes

Are there slopes in the holding area? How about long waiting times for milking? If the cows have to wait longer than desired or the floors are excessively slopy, this can also increase the occurrence of hoof problems. They will most often appear as white line defects.

5. Hoof wear and trimming

One final point that comes to mind is excessive wear. Sand can cause a lot of extra wear on the sole, and I have noticed a negative balance between wear and growth. My advice is to keep enough sole thickness in place and play it safe when removing the horn on trimming day. The horn is there to protect the corium. We should keep this balance in mind, and I’m sure we are all on the same page with this one. If we are dealing with short hooves, we shouldn’t trim just for the sake of keeping busy or making it “nice and white.” It’s also important to provide relief to the problem animals. Keep them on a softer surface, giving the hoof a period of rest. In cases of excessive wear, I also encourage the use of hoof blocks to promote healing.

Concluding remarks

I understand the frustrations and disappointments lame cows cause but keep up the good work! Tweak a little here and there, perhaps experiment a bit with a small number of animals. You could try something on five cows, and if it works, you can apply it to the rest of your herd. And you’ll always do well to seek the advice of your veterinarian or hoof trimmer.

If you have any questions or suggestions, whether or not it is related to this article, feel free to contact me through the Contact page. You can also download a PDF version of this article, and we encourage to share it with others.

Canadian Non Antibiotic Medication Hoof Care

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The post Sand bedding: does it increase lameness? appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

]]>
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The ABC Chart: your guide to the dairy hoof diseases galaxy https://diamondhoofcare.com/abc-chart-dairy-hoof-diseases/ https://diamondhoofcare.com/abc-chart-dairy-hoof-diseases/#respond Tue, 01 Aug 2017 12:00:07 +0000 http://localhost/wordpress/?p=280 The post The ABC Chart: your guide to the dairy hoof diseases galaxy appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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When you own a dairy herd, maintaining its hoof health is a constant challenge. However, we have some great news for you: there are ways to control and contain the impact of lameness. To begin with, you have a variety of great products at your disposal to tackle this challenge. Then there is the professional ABC chart of dairy hoof diseases, which three hoof care professionals have put together.

Let’s start with one very important thing you need to always keep in mind: Not all lame cows need the same therapeutic approach! That’s right. Sometimes just a simple hoof knife does the trick!

If you want guaranteed success in your battle with lameness, it’s important to know the differences between hoof problems. We can split them into two main categories:

  • Infectious hoof diseases.
  • Non-infectious hoof diseases.

Obviously, hoof problems can be mild or severe.

The ABC chart of dairy hoof diseases

To raise awareness and highlight the importance of hoof management, Karl Burgi, Dr. Nigel Cook and Dr. Dörte Döpfer have compiled an identification chart of the different hoof diseases. This trio of hoof experts have given us the ABC chart of dairy hoof diseases.


Success in your lameness battle? It’s important to know the different hoof problems.…
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What’s unique about the ABC chart?

  • All hoof problems are coded with a letter and their official name.
  • A color picture illustrates each hoof problem, complete with different severity levels for each of them.

Download and print a copy of the ABC chart of dairy hoof diseases. And here’s a great tip: pin it beside your hoof trimming chute. It’s an excellent reference tool for your employees and a great starting point for discussions with your trimmer!

Finally, what can you do with the chart?

  • Diagnose a hoof problem and treat it accordingly.
  • Have a copy beside your trimming chute for quick reference.
  • Use it as a communication tool for all team members.

In conclusion, we give you our verdict: highly recommended!

Meet the ABC chart creators

Karl Burgi

Karl Burgi

SAVE COWS®

Karl operates various businesses related to hoof care in the dairy industry. His personal passion and mission is to “Save Cows“. Hoof care training is also available at the Dairyland Hoof Care Institute.

Learn more about Karl Burgi on his website.

Dr. Nigel Cook

Dr. Nigel Cook

Department of Medical Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Cook has spent over a decade examining the impact of the environment on the well-being of dairy cattle. Current research interests include evaluating the performance of the Wisconsin dairy industry using cluster analysis and examination of causal networks.

Connect with Dr. Nigel Cook on the website of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Dörte Döpfer

Dr. Dörte Döpfer

Department of Medical Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Her specific research interest is the epidemiology of digital dermatitis in cattle. She is currently working on mathematical models for infectious diseases.

Dr. Dörte Döpfer can be contacted on the website of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Canadian Non Antibiotic Medication Hoof Care

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I’m sure you’ve run into lameness challenges in the past – or perhaps you’re currently facing some challenges? Or maybe...

The post The ABC Chart: your guide to the dairy hoof diseases galaxy appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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Modelling: factors to consider in hoof trimming https://diamondhoofcare.com/modelling-cow-hooves/ https://diamondhoofcare.com/modelling-cow-hooves/#respond Tue, 25 Jul 2017 12:00:06 +0000 http://localhost/wordpress/?p=306 The post Modelling: factors to consider in hoof trimming appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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Are you a dairy producer who learned the basics of hoof trimming at home? I mean, perhaps your father taught you. He may have told you that the sole of the hoof needs full “dishing out” because this is the hoof form we see in pasture cows in their natural environment. But how do you proceed if your animals tread cement floors? What will be the best hoof trimming practice then?

It should be obvious that the answers we seek depend on the environment. Let me guide you through two basic scenarios, after which I’ll return to the trimming part.

The natural environment scenario (Figure 1)

The fact is that pasture cows have little, if any, sole horn. I’d like to include here dry cows and heifers inhabiting a dry environment. In these animals, the sole horn gets so dry that it starts flaking and falls out.soft surface

However, the wall horn is different. It’s a harder structure and remains intact most of the time. Take a look at the drawing of a “pasture hoof.” You can see that its wall will sink into the dirt until the bottom of the sole also starts carrying weight. As a result, we get weight distribution across the entire surface.

We call this a footprint. The same thing happens when you walk barefoot on the beach. Your footprint in the sand feels relaxing, doesn’t it? That’s because your foot sinks so deep in the sand that all of it carries your weight (even the arch) and the sand fills the gaps.

This also happens with cows in a natural environment. In short, their claws adjust to the soft surface.

concrete surface poor weightThe cement flooring scenario (Figures 2 and 3)

A shaped foot, with only the wall on the outside of the claw, will never sink down in cement as it does on a soft natural surface. Therefore, we have a tremendous weight load on the walls. The sole hangs, as it were, above the concrete flooring, never touching the surface. Because of this, it never carries any weight. However, the pedal bone (the bone in the hoof) stands on the sole.

 

At this point, we may see some lameness concrete surface optimal weightoccurring in pasture hooves that move into a new environment. Do your best to prevent it and provide these animals with timely trimming adjustments and environmental changes. If necessary, seek advice from your local hoof trimmer or veterinarian.

More on the hoof trimming part (Figure 4)


Balancing hoof for weight distribution is important and you should do it regularly.
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Let me finish with a few pointers on how far you should shape or model the sole of the claw.modeling example

To fill the void I described above, you need to leave enough sole horn to produce counter-pressure. Balancing the two claws for weight distribution is extremely important and you should do it regularly.

Some slight modelling will be necessary to determine if problems could arise. You can thus prevent potential issues from getting out of hand. However, overdoing this modelling, even up to the wall, will produce counter-effects on cement flooring. It’s better to play it safe otherwise you run the risk of causing lameness.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact me through our Contact page. You can also download a printable version of this article – great for sharing with others.

Canadian Non Antibiotic Medication Hoof Care

Intracare BV Hoof-fit Gel Non-Antibiotic Medication for Cattle

Press release February 25, 2016. Intracare BV produces Hoof-fit Gel: the first Canadian non-antibiotic medication for hoof...
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Should Your Hoof Products List Include Formalin?

Adding formalin (also known as formaldehyde) to the foot bath is believed to make hooves harder. But when lameness is an...
Foot Rot Banner

Dairy cow lameness: Foot rot vs. Hoof rot

The term foot rot or ‘hoof rot’ is one that might be used on your farm to describe a sore foot. Before explaining the...
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Possible antibiotic residues and claw lesions

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"WANTED: Hoof trimmers! Please contact!" The Hoof Trimmer and his profession are an essential part of a dairy cow's...

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I’m sure you’ve run into lameness challenges in the past – or perhaps you’re currently facing some challenges? Or maybe...

The post Modelling: factors to consider in hoof trimming appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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How often should I trim my cows? https://diamondhoofcare.com/hoof-trimming-frequency/ https://diamondhoofcare.com/hoof-trimming-frequency/#respond Tue, 18 Jul 2017 12:00:29 +0000 http://localhost/wordpress/?p=303 The post How often should I trim my cows? appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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Today’s burning question: hoof trimming frequency

If you ask five people how often your herd requires hoof trimming, you may end up with six opinions. OK, that’s probably stretching it a bit but the fact remains that opinions on this matter vary greatly.

When dairy producers ask me this question, I tend to start the conversation with a question of my own. I usually ask if they agree with me on the key point of hoof trimming, which is the prevention of serious problems and control of lameness. I mean, don’t you feel that you gain so much more when you do your best to prevent lameness from occurring or when you minimize its effects?


Prevent lameness from occurring wins over just minimizing lameness effects!
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What causes lameness?

I have devoted a lot of time and energy to exploring the subject and you can check our other blog posts for more information about lameness and lameness control. Still, let me give you the short version.

Lameness can be the result of various environmental factors. These include housing facilities, feeding, flooring, and hoof trimming practices.

In addition, there are “cow-specific” factors that contribute to lameness. Examples include genetics, stage in lactation, and previous lameness issues.

That said, it’s obvious that one herd would be more prone to lameness than another. Moreover, some cows in the same herd tend to be more prone than others.

Timing guidelines

We subscribe to the view that producers should check every animal in their chutes twice a year. I bolded “check” for a reason, namely to emphasize that you should never over-trim a cow!

If the hoof looks good, you’ll get the feeling of satisfaction that the cow is all set and good to go for another six months. If you know that a particular animal is prone to lameness, make sure to check her again in, say, three months.

Preventive vs curative

I realize that herd owners often underestimate the impact of preventive hoof trimming. Instead, they take the curative approach. It is in widespread use but it only addresses lameness.

My advice? Start by determining the lameness rate in your herd. If it exceeds 2% per month, you should schedule hoof trimming sessions more frequently.

Some producers like the idea of trimming the whole herd to get it over with in one go. However, others prefer to call in their trimmer on a monthly basis. While both strategies are great, the latter needs proper record-keeping.

Concluding remarks

One final remark: we visit our dentists for regular check-ups and I sure am happy when mine tells me there are no cavities to fill. However, I also make sure to book an appointment for next time. Get the point? Good luck with keeping your cows in shape!

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me through the Contact page

One last thing

Download a printable version of this article, and give it to a friend or colleague!

Canadian Non Antibiotic Medication Hoof Care

Intracare BV Hoof-fit Gel Non-Antibiotic Medication for Cattle

Press release February 25, 2016. Intracare BV produces Hoof-fit Gel: the first Canadian non-antibiotic medication for hoof...
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The post How often should I trim my cows? appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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When To Treat a Lame Cow? https://diamondhoofcare.com/when-to-treat-a-lame-cow/ https://diamondhoofcare.com/when-to-treat-a-lame-cow/#respond Tue, 11 Jul 2017 12:00:15 +0000 http://localhost/wordpress/?p=308 The post When To Treat a Lame Cow? appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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Speed: your ally in keeping lameness at bay

You wake up one morning and do the routine check on your cows. You notice that one of them is showing signs of lameness. Do you then start wondering what would be the best time to check her out?

I often hear this question from dairy producers. In a recent conversation, one told me that a “good producing cow” of his showed lameness. This had him asking himself that same question.


Detect cripple animal? Speed is your ally in keeping lameness at bay
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Good cow?

Let me start by saying that the question about timing is indeed a great one. But you know what struck me first when that producer came up with his query? His use of the word “good.” A cow is only good if you can keep her on all her feet and walking without problems. Otherwise, before you know it, she will go from “good” to “average” and eventually to “cull.”

Speed always matters

Let’s look for the answer by considering another question. Would you wait before treating a cow with mastitis if you noticed it one morning? Probably not! This is also the attitude we all need to adopt when dealing with lameness.

The quicker you determine the cause of lameness and tackle it, the better your chances of successful treatment. My advice here is to make it easy and safe: handle the cow by putting her in a hoof trimming chute. Don’t try to treat feet in your parlour – it will take a huge toll on your back!

Bet big on prevention

As we all know, prevention is critical for ensuring good health, both in humans and animals. To help prevent lameness issues, make sure you trim your cows at regular intervals. This is important because excessive horn growth can cause sole ulcers and other problems.

If lameness continues to plague one or more of your cows, seek professional help from your hoof trimmer or veterinarian. I hope you get your animals back on their four feet soon! If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact me through the Contact page.

Help spread this message

You can also download a printable version of this article – great for sharing with others!

Canadian Non Antibiotic Medication Hoof Care

Intracare BV Hoof-fit Gel Non-Antibiotic Medication for Cattle

Press release February 25, 2016. Intracare BV produces Hoof-fit Gel: the first Canadian non-antibiotic medication for hoof...
Should Hoof Products Include Formalin

Should Your Hoof Products List Include Formalin?

Adding formalin (also known as formaldehyde) to the foot bath is believed to make hooves harder. But when lameness is an...
Foot Rot Banner

Dairy cow lameness: Foot rot vs. Hoof rot

The term foot rot or ‘hoof rot’ is one that might be used on your farm to describe a sore foot. Before explaining the...
Antibiotic Danger Banner

Possible antibiotic residues and claw lesions

Residues becoming a concern? Antibiotic residues has been on the radar for a while. Does it really affect our dairy herds...
Where to find a Hoof Trimmer

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"WANTED: Hoof trimmers! Please contact!" The Hoof Trimmer and his profession are an essential part of a dairy cow's...

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Dairy producers rely on a number of professionals to help them day in and day out. While each professional works closely...

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A producer recently approached me after starting to question the ultimate success rate of the footbath method. He was also...

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Review on the webinar hosted by AHDB Dairy by Prof. Jon Huxley: Watch on YouTube Every farmer has had to deal with lameness...
Lameness Control Strategies

Lameness Control Strategies: Prevention vs Treatment

I’m sure you’ve run into lameness challenges in the past – or perhaps you’re currently facing some challenges? Or maybe...

The post When To Treat a Lame Cow? appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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Munich: host for the 2017 Lameness Conference https://diamondhoofcare.com/munich-host-2017-lameness-conference/ https://diamondhoofcare.com/munich-host-2017-lameness-conference/#respond Tue, 04 Jul 2017 12:00:28 +0000 http://diamondhoofcare.com/?p=4107 The post Munich: host for the 2017 Lameness Conference appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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Welcome to Munich

In September, Munich will be hosting the 19th International Symposium and 11th International Conference on Lameness in Ruminants.

The famous German city will play host to the biannual event for this time. Experts in cattle health, production systems, animal behavior, and hoof care will be there from 6th to 9th September. During this time, they will discuss industry issues, present new research, and promote knowledge exchange.

The Conference

As being a member of The Hoof Trimmers Association (HTA), I’ve kept a close watch on past research and attended various HTA conferences. This year’s lameness symposium and conference will be again an opportunity to pick up the latest in scientific research and best practices in the dairy industry.

It is my firm belief that we should base hoof health solutions on proven research with practical applications. Such research paves the way to optimum hoof health, which will benefit both dairy herds and their owners. I hope that Munich will provide a wealth of additional resources that we can share with Canadian dairymen and dairy service providers. These resources will help us in the pursuit of our ultimate goal: making the Canadian dairy industry even better!

Intracare

I’m also proud that our partner and supplier Intracare is among the supporters of this year’s event in Munich. Their first attendance was in 2011 when Rotorua in New Zealand hosted the conference. It was there that lameness expert Menno Holzhauer presented the findings one of Intracare’s studies. It compares a tetracycline-based antibiotic spray and Hoof-fit Gel as treatments for severe M2 lesions. This was a real breakthrough for Hoof-fit Gel, which achieved an astounding 92% cure rate against 58% for the spray. Intracare took part in the next two conferences as well. In 2015, Valdivia in Chile hosted the event. At this event, an additional poster presentation confirmed the high efficacy of Intra Hoof-fit Gel for registration in Canada.

Let’s hope that this year’s event will bring more encouraging study results and new insights. We need all the help we can get from science and cattle experts to fight lameness. When we ensure maximum comfort and good health for our animals, we will enjoy the rewards of increased productivity and strong returns on investment.

If you are interested in more details about the upcoming Congress, you can get plenty of information at the Lameness Symposium website.

Canadian Non Antibiotic Medication Hoof Care

Intracare BV Hoof-fit Gel Non-Antibiotic Medication for Cattle

Press release February 25, 2016. Intracare BV produces Hoof-fit Gel: the first Canadian non-antibiotic medication for hoof...
Should Hoof Products Include Formalin

Should Your Hoof Products List Include Formalin?

Adding formalin (also known as formaldehyde) to the foot bath is believed to make hooves harder. But when lameness is an...
Foot Rot Banner

Dairy cow lameness: Foot rot vs. Hoof rot

The term foot rot or ‘hoof rot’ is one that might be used on your farm to describe a sore foot. Before explaining the...
Antibiotic Danger Banner

Possible antibiotic residues and claw lesions

Residues becoming a concern? Antibiotic residues has been on the radar for a while. Does it really affect our dairy herds...
Where to find a Hoof Trimmer

Where Can I Find a Hoof Trimmer?

"WANTED: Hoof trimmers! Please contact!" The Hoof Trimmer and his profession are an essential part of a dairy cow's...

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Dairy producers rely on a number of professionals to help them day in and day out. While each professional works closely...

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A producer recently approached me after starting to question the ultimate success rate of the footbath method. He was also...

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Review on the webinar hosted by AHDB Dairy by Prof. Jon Huxley: Watch on YouTube Every farmer has had to deal with lameness...
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I’m sure you’ve run into lameness challenges in the past – or perhaps you’re currently facing some challenges? Or maybe...

The post Munich: host for the 2017 Lameness Conference appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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Hoof blocking: what you need to know https://diamondhoofcare.com/hoof-blocking/ https://diamondhoofcare.com/hoof-blocking/#respond Tue, 27 Jun 2017 12:00:17 +0000 http://localhost/wordpress/?p=312 The post Hoof blocking: what you need to know appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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hoof blocking

Figure 1. Diagram illustrating hoof blocking with Demotec Easy Bloc

Apart from being a scourge for cows, lameness can cause a great economic loss for you, the farmer. Hoof blocking generally is an effective method of hoof care. You should keep in mind, however, that it isn’t perfect.

Whenever lameness rears its ugly head, the herdsman or trimmer will choose to place a block under the healthy claw to take the weight off of the sore one. In this way, the latter gets a period of rest, and you eliminate the reason for it being lame. But you should remove the block when the sore claw heals and resumes working properly.

Hoof blocking is usually a seamless process that results in healthy hooves and happy cows. Still, there are times when things don’t exactly go as planned. If you’ve blocked a hoof or even multiple ones and it doesn’t seem to be taking care of the problem, one of two things could have gone wrong with your hoof care efforts.

1. Escalated inflammation in the hoof

It could be that the problem in the sore claw escalated and the hoof became further inflamed in the joints above both claws, meaning more into the foot. This condition defeats the purpose of using a block. In fact, the block would make it worse if you apply it at this stage. In this case, it is advisable to remove the block and find other methods of hoof care. Besides re-evaluating to determine the reason for lameness, you should also use a hoof bag or perhaps antibiotics to control the lameness at this point. You may also need the help and advice of a veterinarian in this situation.

2. Unforeseen problems in the blocked claw

The other possibility is that the initial sore claw is healing, which is great, but the blocked claw is not as healthy as you originally thought. If so, it is having difficulty carrying all the weight. These things happen and are hard to predict. In this case, you have no other choice but to remove the block. You need to treat the problem developing under it, hoping that the freshly healed claw can again handle the extra weight. It certainly makes hoof care more complicated and challenging, but the additional efforts will pay off.


Hoof blocking didn't take care of the hoof care problem? Two things may have gone wrong.
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Other remarks about hoof blocking

I suggest you leave the block on for no more than 6 to 8 weeks. Check it regularly to evaluate performance. A block is a great hoof care tool, but you should only use it for a limited period. Take it off when it has done its job to eliminate the risk of over-burdening the healthy claw.

Hoof care is an ongoing process and never really stops demanding your attention. And as hard as you may try, you can’t always prevent lameness. Sometimes it just sneaks up on you. Although blocking is effective in most cases, it won’t solve the problem on occasion. You will always need to narrow down the root cause to find the best hoof care method. So, remember to take it one day at a time and keep an eye on your cows’ hooves. This will ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. Besides, it will save you both time and money.

On another note, I suggest you also take a look at the Demotec Easy Bloc. This kit is an innovative system that is designed to minimize lameness. It also provides a fast, easy-to-use and safe “cure” at a very reasonable cost.

If you have any other questions or suggestions, please contact me through the Contact page. You can also download a printable version of this article, great for sharing with others!

Canadian Non Antibiotic Medication Hoof Care

Intracare BV Hoof-fit Gel Non-Antibiotic Medication for Cattle

Press release February 25, 2016. Intracare BV produces Hoof-fit Gel: the first Canadian non-antibiotic medication for hoof...
Should Hoof Products Include Formalin

Should Your Hoof Products List Include Formalin?

Adding formalin (also known as formaldehyde) to the foot bath is believed to make hooves harder. But when lameness is an...
Foot Rot Banner

Dairy cow lameness: Foot rot vs. Hoof rot

The term foot rot or ‘hoof rot’ is one that might be used on your farm to describe a sore foot. Before explaining the...
Antibiotic Danger Banner

Possible antibiotic residues and claw lesions

Residues becoming a concern? Antibiotic residues has been on the radar for a while. Does it really affect our dairy herds...
Where to find a Hoof Trimmer

Where Can I Find a Hoof Trimmer?

"WANTED: Hoof trimmers! Please contact!" The Hoof Trimmer and his profession are an essential part of a dairy cow's...

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Dairy producers rely on a number of professionals to help them day in and day out. While each professional works closely...

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A producer recently approached me after starting to question the ultimate success rate of the footbath method. He was also...

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I’m sure you’ve run into lameness challenges in the past – or perhaps you’re currently facing some challenges? Or maybe...

The post Hoof blocking: what you need to know appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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Tools That Make Hoof Trimming Easier https://diamondhoofcare.com/tools-that-make-hoof-trimming-easier/ https://diamondhoofcare.com/tools-that-make-hoof-trimming-easier/#respond Tue, 20 Jun 2017 18:00:47 +0000 http://diamondhoofcare.com/?p=3181 The post Tools That Make Hoof Trimming Easier appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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When the subject of hoof care arises, I often hear dairy producers complain about trimming. They tell me they already have too many chores on their daily lists. Then they go on to add that lameness treatments and hoof trimming aren’t their top priority. Besides taking too long, these activities may require at least two people assisting. In short, many herd owners just dislike trimming hooves. The sentiments you just read about are understandable. Hoof trimming is a dirty job and requires practice. However, it has its rewards. With that in mind, I’ve put together some pointers to some tools that will make this element of hoof care a less taxing job. Let me start with some cautionary figures. Lameness rates are typically quite high in most dairy herds: 25% on average are lame cows! Moreover, the cost per lame cow is around $300 per incident! Producers often leave hoof trimming to the experts, that is to say, professional hoof trimmers. It’s partly because dairy herd owners don’t exactly consider it a pleasurable activity. In fact, it ends up being a hateful chore because they usually have little experience in hoof trimming techniques.

Important hoof trimming tools

In addition, many producers will often delay trimming a lame cow because they may not have the right equipment on hand to hold the cow safely and easily. Obviously, proper hoof care products and trimming tools will ease the job and speed up the trimming process. My aim in writing this article is to make trimming a much faster, safer, stress-free, and rewarding procedure. Let me give you a quick overview of the basic tools you’ll need to trim a cow. Here’s to hoping these pointers will help you rise to the lameness challenge!


Proper hoof trimming tools will dramatically ease and speed up the trimming process!
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1. Chute

A good chute will make all the difference! You have many different options when deciding on a chute to install in your barn. The possibilities are endless, ranging from a simple manual chute to an extensive hydraulic one. The choice will depend on your preference and usage. For example, an average 120-cow herd may have a handful of animals requiring a trim each week. Although a hydraulic chute makes it easy to lift individual feet, it might not seem the most logical financial choice. A good chute ensures a safe working area for both the trimmer and the cow. Lameness is expensive (remember that $300 per incident?), so it doesn’t take much to justify the investment in a hoof trimming chute that will be around for years to come. If you’re only helping 10 lame cows a year and the chute lasts you 20 years, the return on investment is phenomenal!

2. Proper gate systems

Gates and an alley lead-way are assets that will make it a breeze to sort and maneuver an animal to and from the chute. You don’t want to engage in a rodeo every time you have to put a cow there: it becomes a pretty boring game after a while. Play it safe and set up the gates for the years ahead. This investment saves on labour and frustration for the cow and its owner.

3. Hoof trimming knife

A hoof care kit won’t be complete without a sharp trimming knife. When the blade is dull, you need to exert too much pressure. As a result, the knife goes too deep into the claw or takes off too much horn. It’s precision work, and therefore sharp tools won’t tire you out as quickly.

4. Grinder

Most professional hoof trimmers use this tool to grind off excess horn from the hoof. Grinders come in several shapes and sizes and include an array of blades to choose from. Just as you would all sharp tools, use this one with caution. It cuts horn quickly but won’t mind your fingers either!

5. Treatments

Hoof-fit Gel

Figure 1. Hoof-fit Gel is proven to be effective in treating digital dermatitis.

Depending on the cause of lameness, you may need to apply a treatment. Hoof-fit Gel has been the proven curative product for treating infectious hoof problems like digital dermatitis (warts). Based on the severity of the problem, you may need to apply the Gel also on a gauze and wrap the hoof for three days. Trimming and blocking can help deal with other non-infectious hoof problems.

6. Cleaning supplies

You’ll find it easier to properly diagnose the hoof when the area is clean. A hand towel or paper towels to wipe the manure off the hoof will be helpful. Using a coiled air hose at the chute has proved a great practical benefit. Using water in a chute to clean the hooves makes a mess and is often unnecessary.

7. Tension hoof tester

Sometimes you’ll have difficulty finding the cause of a sore spot just by judging from the outside of the hoof. That’s why a valuable addition to your cow hoof care products will be a tension hoof tester. It will help you to check the inside of the hoof and test where the cow is hurting. The cause may be an ulcer or a white line defect in the hoof. With this tool, you’ll be able to determine which it is.

Concluding remarks

Delaying the hoof care chore will only make lameness problems worse. A fully stocked cabinet or storage unit close to your chute will make your life easier and allow you to tackle problem feet early on. It pays off to assemble a hoof care arsenal with all the tools and supplies you may need to trim, diagnose, and treat a foot. This way, you’ll be ready to spring into action the moment you notice a lame cow in your barn!

If you have further questions about common hoof trimming supplies, please contact us at our contact page. You can also download a printable copy of this article – great for sharing with others!

Canadian Non Antibiotic Medication Hoof Care

Intracare BV Hoof-fit Gel Non-Antibiotic Medication for Cattle

Press release February 25, 2016. Intracare BV produces Hoof-fit Gel: the first Canadian non-antibiotic medication for hoof...
Should Hoof Products Include Formalin

Should Your Hoof Products List Include Formalin?

Adding formalin (also known as formaldehyde) to the foot bath is believed to make hooves harder. But when lameness is an...
Foot Rot Banner

Dairy cow lameness: Foot rot vs. Hoof rot

The term foot rot or ‘hoof rot’ is one that might be used on your farm to describe a sore foot. Before explaining the...
Antibiotic Danger Banner

Possible antibiotic residues and claw lesions

Residues becoming a concern? Antibiotic residues has been on the radar for a while. Does it really affect our dairy herds...
Where to find a Hoof Trimmer

Where Can I Find a Hoof Trimmer?

"WANTED: Hoof trimmers! Please contact!" The Hoof Trimmer and his profession are an essential part of a dairy cow's...

Hoof Trimmers and Veterinarians Can Work Better Together

Dairy producers rely on a number of professionals to help them day in and day out. While each professional works closely...

Seven Tips for the Best Time Management

Lack of time is the number one reason for not having a preventative hoof care plan in place on our farms. However, some...
Footbath dairy

Overview of Cattle Footbath Method on Dairy Farms

A producer recently approached me after starting to question the ultimate success rate of the footbath method. He was also...

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Review on the webinar hosted by AHDB Dairy by Prof. Jon Huxley: Watch on YouTube Every farmer has had to deal with lameness...
Lameness Control Strategies

Lameness Control Strategies: Prevention vs Treatment

I’m sure you’ve run into lameness challenges in the past – or perhaps you’re currently facing some challenges? Or maybe...

The post Tools That Make Hoof Trimming Easier appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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