Lameness is a problem no dairy farmer can handle alone. As we at Diamond Hoof Care keep saying, hoof health should be a collective industry effort.

Hoof Care Expert Peter Best

Peter Best – Australian hoof care expert.

That is, it should involve education, training, and knowledge sharing. Peter Best, an Australian lameness prevention and treatment specialist, supports this view.

Koos got to chat with Peter, who favours a hands-on approach to dealing with lameness. Having grown up on a dairy farm, the Aussie specialist is programmed to have a proactive attitude. On top of that, he finds his work with farms very rewarding. Here’s what else he shared with Koos.

Q: Peter, what guides you when recommending a hoof health system to a farm?

A: My approach to setting up hoof health systems is to make them simple to implement. They shouldn’t require a lot of changes and capital expenditure, nor should they be key person-dependent.

The other thing I do is to really look at what’s happening on the farm before giving any advice. After they’ve told me what they think the cause of their problem is, I often find that their lameness is the result of something totally outside of their train of thought.

Q: Can you give us an example?

A: A company recently approached me on behalf of a very large farm regarding milk quality. They think the source of a lot of their mastitis is the farm’s lameness problem. If they end up engaging me for the project, it will be an interesting investigation. I agree with them that the stress factor will be impacting the cows’ immunity levels, which in turn will affect their milk quality. However, they are blaming digital dermatitis (DD) and an inefficient foot bathing program. All the changes they’ve made to this program have had no effect on the DD. According to my experience and observations in Asia, DD has usually been the secondary lesion developing after a severe sole ulcer or white line that has gone untreated because the cows’ stress level is elevated and their immune systems affected by the initial lesion.

Q: In your experience, what major challenges do farmers usually face when dealing with lameness?

A: The biggest challenge I see in most farms is that they want a treatment that doesn’t involve looking at the foot in a chute. You have to pick up the feet to fully understand the problem. If only a lameness investigation were as easy as a milk quality investigation! It’s not like standing next to a cow being milked. Then you score the teat ends without having to restrain the cow.

Peter Best - training session

Peter Best – training session

Peter’s company, Innovative Farm Services, has been doing an extensive Asian study over the last three and a half years. It has been implementing a health education and training program, focusing on key areas that affect lameness rates and on introducing preventative measures. Peter shared the top takeaways from this study in a recently published article. Make sure to check it out: it’s a treasure trove of valuable information!

Also check out Peter’s LinkedIn profile and website

Related Posts

Progressive Dairyman Interview on Hoof Care Professionals

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...
Dairy trade shows

Trade shows: the ultimate place to mingle and learn

At Diamond Hoof Care, we are very serious about our presence at dairy trade shows. After all, such visits are central to...
Managing heat stress

Managing the Heat Stress in Your Herd

As a professional hoof trimmer, I have experienced days so hot that I wished I had a swimming pool nearby to dive into....
Intra Hoof-Sol Spray introduction post

The way to hoof health success: ready-to-use Intra Hoof-Sol Spray®

Hoof care challenges have existed since the dawn of dairy farming. The search for ways to deal with them has never stopped....
Ontario Hoof Care Conference

“For the Record”: Hoof Trimmers Gathering in Ontario

Our industry is getting another great chance for a pro get-together. The Ontario Hoof Trimmers Guild (OHTG) is...
hoof trimming chutes

Hoof trimming chutes to handle lameness

Hoof trimming chutes: assets that get the job done I think we can all agree that lame cows are a source of frustration and...
Hoof wrapping

Four hoof experts share tips on hoof wrapping

Wrapping has been around for years as a way of dealing with hoof problems. The purpose of applying wraps varies between...
Tom Woodall Interview concrete flooring

Concrete Flooring: Chat with Tom Woodall of AGRI-TRAC™

It’s difficult getting the dairy barn floor right, isn’t it? Say you go with concrete flooring, which is by far the most...
Interview with Hoof Care Expert Peter Best

Talking with Australian lameness expert Peter Best

Lameness is a problem no dairy farmer can handle alone. As we at Diamond Hoof Care keep saying, hoof health should be a...
Forage Banking

Forage banking: no worries over summer feed supplies

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...
Slippery Barn Floors

Slippery barn floors? Water to the rescue!

Slippery barn floors can make it quite the challenge to keep your cows on all fours. Concrete surfaces become smooth over...
Sand Bedding Diary Cows

Sand bedding: does it increase lameness?

Have you wondered whether your switch to sand bedding might be increasing lameness in your dairy herd? If so, you’re not...
Hoof Lesion Scoring ABC chart

The ABC Chart: your guide to the dairy hoof diseases galaxy

When you own a dairy herd, maintaining its hoof health is a constant challenge. However, we have some great news for you:...
Modelling Cow Hooves

Modelling: factors to consider in hoof trimming

Are you a dairy producer who learned the basics of hoof trimming at home? I mean, perhaps your father taught...
Hoof Trimming Frequency

How often should I trim my cows?

Today’s burning question: hoof trimming frequency If you ask five people how often your herd requires hoof trimming, you...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This