Diamond Hoof Care https://diamondhoofcare.com Call Now: 1 (800) 617-8908 Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:14:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Hoof Trimmers and Veterinarians Can Work Better Together https://diamondhoofcare.com/hoof-trimmers-veterinarians/ Thu, 30 Aug 2018 12:00:32 +0000 http://diamondhoofcare.com/?p=1965 The post Hoof Trimmers and Veterinarians Can Work Better Together appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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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 with the producer, more and more farms are learning that benefits can be gained when those professionals collaborate with one another.

Hoof trimmers and veterinarians are one such pairing that can find advantages in working together.

Progressive Dairyman interviewed hoof trimming consultant, Koos Vis with Diamond Hoof Care Ltd. in Diamond City, Alberta, and Emil Sabau, DVM, with Emil Vet Services in Picture Butte, Alberta, to learn their perspectives on how each profession could help the other and the farm as well.

How long have you been in your profession?

VIS: After being a dairy herdsman for several years, the opportunity arose to start a hoof-trimming career. As a firm believer in training, I participated in the professional hoof trimmer training (IPC Dier in Oenkerk, The Netherlands).

In the fall of 1994, my active career started – and looking back, it’s a wonderful, exciting profession. In the spring of 2012, due to “wear and tear” on my body, I made a choice to focus on hoof care consulting rather than the daily trimming practice.

The excitement about the four hooves of the dairy cow keeps me going and lameness challenges continue to appear.

SABAU: I have been a veterinarian for 22 years. I practised veterinary medicine in Romania for seven years and have practised in Canada for the past 15 years.

Do you think the hoof trimmer and veterinarian should collaborate on farms?

VIS: No doubt about this. These two professions are servicing the well-being of the animal and are supporting each other. I’ve often reached out to our local veterinarian for advice on certain herds in our clientele, and this team approach was phenomenal and a great experience for the producer.

Koos Vis and Emil Sabau Interview with the Progressive DairymanSABAU: We should have a team approach on the dairy farm. All the professionals should work together, including the hoof trimmer and veterinarians.

What is the main benefit of this collaboration?

VIS: Sometimes there are deeper-lying causes to lameness problems, and we cannot get to the bottom of it. I know that we, as trimmers, are not alone in the lameness challenges.

Our veterinarians have been great support and, in my opinion, it gives a satisfying feeling of being recognized by the veterinary profession and that together we can help the producer.

SABAU: The benefits will be healthier cows and a better understanding of the problems in the dairy and solving the issues.

What does the hoof trimmer bring to the table for the veterinarian?

VIS: The hoof trimmer brings an overview, or rather snapshot, of what is going on in the herds’ hooves today. Proper record-keeping on hoof care procedures for each cow (either manual or digital) is a must to be able to share the trimming information.

This benchmarking is shared with the other professionals and, as a team, we assist the producer in making the right decisions. I’ve also had veterinarians visit me on the farm while I was trimming, and they used my equipment to provide extensive veterinarian hoof care when needed.

SABAU: Most of the hoof trimmers come twice a year on a farm. After every trim, they leave a summary of the hoof problems in the herd. As veterinarians, we can analyze the findings, talk it over with the producer and, in some cases, with the hoof trimmer.

We are both specialists, and we have to be on the same page to be able to advise the producer in the same direction.


Hoof trimmers and veterinarians should work together: more healthy cattle and $$$.
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What does the veterinarian bring to the table for the hoof trimmer?

SABAU: The veterinarian should be involved more in foot problems, especially when it is necessary to use tranquilizing agents and local anesthesia for the welfare of the animals. The hoof trimmer should refer these types of cases to the veterinarian.

How often should the hoof trimmer and veterinarian (and producer) meet?

VIS: A producer is at all times the coordinator of these meetings. Open communication lines (on demand) are often enough, but I’ve also met the veterinarian around the client’s coffee table and discussed the options at hand to control lameness.

SABAU: We should meet once a year to go over the farms that we serve together, but it is important that we are available at any time.

What records and reports should be shared back and forth? Why?

VIS: Regular hoof trimming records are often the gauge for the veterinarian to monitor lameness behaviours and seasonal patterns.

Progressive Dairyman Interview ActionThere are often links to the overall health of the herd. If there are a lot of displaced abomasums, retained placentas, mastitis, etc., the possibility is that the hoof trimmer will find some lameness cases related to these occurrences.

It is most profitable if this veterinarian information is shared with the trimmer and positive progress monitored by the hoof trimmer and referred to the veterinarian.

SABAU: All information needs to be shared. For example what hoof bath products are used, how many times per week and what the treatment protocols are for lame cows.

The records need to be shared on how well the cattle respond to treatments to make improvements and ensure the cattle have healthy feet.

The hoof trimmers should share any concerns that they see at a particular farm with the veterinarian so that any issues can be caught early.

What’s the benefit for the producer of the hoof trimmer and veterinarian’s collaboration?

VIS: Each profession brings its expertise and experiences. The great benefit for the producer is that by using the connection between all the professionals that serve his farm, he will see a better hoof care experience, healthier cows and return on his investments (in both time and money).

SABAU: Producers will have healthy cattle and see the economic benefits.

Any final thoughts?

VIS: The global industry is changing the focus to sustainability by using fewer antibiotics to avoid resistance and residues.

A close relationship between the hoof trimmer and the veterinarian is an asset to help the producer apply alternative ways to control lameness that will achieve a sustainable future.

I’ve used antibiotic-free products for eight years with great success, and my clients’ veterinarians are supporting us in this safer approach.

SABAU: As a veterinarian, I think we have to work together with the hoof trimmers. In the past few years, this partnership has gotten closer, but we have more work to do to improve even more. We have to be open-minded and work together as a team.

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Trade shows: the ultimate place to mingle and learn https://diamondhoofcare.com/dairy-trade-shows/ Wed, 22 Aug 2018 06:00:31 +0000 https://diamondhoofcare.com/?p=7620 The post Trade shows: the ultimate place to mingle and learn appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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At Diamond Hoof Care, we are very serious about our presence at dairy trade shows. After all, such visits are central to achieving our primary purpose – to help farmers when hoof health problems assault their herds. For this reason, we make it a point to attend industry events. We go there and listen very carefully to producers. In fact, you could say hoof problems and treatment strategies are our delights of the day.

With this blog post, we aim to give you a bit of insight into our latest trade show experiences. They include our visit to the Lethbridge AG EXPO. This is a general ag-industry event for farmers dealing in all kinds of livestock. There was also the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar in Red Deer. This convention-type event brings together researchers, industry professionals, and many dairy farmers.

The Western Canadian Dairy Seminar

What usually happens at such trade shows – and these were no exception – is that many people stop by at our booth to learn about hoof diseases. In general, they ask us how to solve such problems.  The Western Canadian Dairy Seminar includes lectures about hoof health. Thus, it offers highly valuable information to the industry. In addition, we regularly meet dairy producers who face challenges on their farms. We like to think we have helped these people by recommending our hoof care protocols. As a result, they have helped their cows walk better. Producers’ feedback is key to developing consistent hoof care protocols, manual treatments, and preventive measures for future years.

Another thing we like about the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar is that it gives us the chance to meet with many veterinary students. These young people are very keen on learning more about hoof health. They do a lot of research and presentations about hoof care and lameness. We highly recommend supporting and visiting the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary.

Insights we get from trade shows

Hoof care problems such as digital dermatitis are always among the first topics producers taking part in our trade shows want to discuss. As it usually turns out, dairy farmers have tried many protocols and products. They have tested them either as preventative measures or as a treatment. Unfortunately, they have had limited or no success. When they stop by our booth, we talk about what they have done in the past. Then, we discuss in detail the kind of protocols they are currently using. We often suggest sticking to a protocol for a longer period of time to get the lameness problem under control.

This year, our participation in the trade shows once again brought us in touch with people from both sides of the frontline. On one side, there are the farmers, who always search for effective and safe solutions to hoof health problems. On the other side, you have people like us, who strive to deliver these solutions, be it through R&D or distribution. These events always provide an opportunity for knowledge updates, new business contacts, and invaluable feedback. We are already looking forward to what next year has to bring!

Do you have a dairy industry event in your area and know a local dealer who takes part in it? If so, we would like to get in touch with you and explore the possibilities for our participation in your trade shows.

Final thoughts

In parting, let us say this: if your farm is struggling with hoof problems, don’t be quick to lose heart! Remember: these problems have a solution! Reach out to our team with your questions and suggestions via our contact page, and we will promptly get back to you.

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Managing the Heat Stress in Your Herd https://diamondhoofcare.com/managing-heat-stress/ Wed, 15 Aug 2018 06:00:57 +0000 http://diamondhoofcare.com/?p=3020 The post Managing the Heat Stress in Your Herd appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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As a professional hoof trimmer, I have experienced days so hot that I wished I had a swimming pool nearby to dive into. This summer has seen excruciating high temperatures in Western Canada, with temperatures in Alberta hitting 40 degrees Celsius!

We read a lot about heat stress in dairy cows. And while I certainly don’t have definitive answers on how we’re going to solve the issue of heat stress, I do know this for sure: a cow, just like her hoof trimmer, prefers a cooler environment over hot and stuffy surroundings. With that said, I can definitely share some tips that’ll help you in dealing with heat stress. 

How does heat affect your herd?

The best way to get an idea of how the heat affects your herd is to monitor the animals’ behaviour. A cow will search for the most comfortable place in her environment when temperatures are rising. It’s the same with us hoof trimmers. In the morning, we start off warmly dressed. Then at some point, the shirt comes off. A little later perhaps, a roof goes over the chute to create shade. Often, a large water jug appears beside the chute, and don’t forget the quick dive into the creek during lunch break. We are just trying to make our day more comfortable so we can optimize our performance.

Let’s go back to our dairy cows. They have no shirts to remove or the option to go down to the creek. What about a water jug for them? They are totally at the mercy of their owner. Cows do not have very many active sweat glands, and their main way of losing heat is through their breath. Still, they will try to make the best of the situation with the means available to ensure their survival and optimize their performance.

How does heat stress affect the hooves of dairy cows? Most often, they stand for longer periods when it is hot, as this lets them catch a breeze and cool off a bit. However, the four hooves of a cow can’t take standing on hard surfaces for extended periods of time. She’s already dealing with waiting times before milking, eating, etc., and the hot weather might just tip the scales towards lameness problems.

Tips for dealing with the heat stress challenge

What can you do to help your dairy cows cope with the heat stress challenge? I’ve got some tips that will allow you to get and stay on track.

  1. Ensure that good and clean water is available. I’ve seen herd owners place

    Heat stress and clean water

    Figure 1. First tip to deal with the heat stress: ensure clean water is available for your herd.

    a long gutter or extra tubs among the animals in the summer months to avoid waiting times when they need their drink.

  2. If your herd is in dry lots, make sure there’s a shady area to keep the direct sun rays away from your animals.
  3. Use adequate misters or sprinklers to bring the area air temperature down.
  4. Deploy fans to create air movement, so the cow feels more comfortable.
  5. Use proper fly control: it doesn’t help the cow if she has to battle both the heat and insects.
  6. Watch standing times: a cow will stand in drafty areas to optimize cold air flow around her whole body.
  7. Have a proper trimming procedure in place. Make sure that the hooves are in optimal condition before the heatwave. By doing that, you’re eliminating and/or preventing other hoof problems from occurring. The animal is under enough stress from dealing with the heat: avoid adding to it wherever possible.
  8. Avoid having low spots in your dirt lots: the cow knows where they are and uses them for cooling. The disadvantage of this cooling method is that these areas are often muddy and difficult to manage. This means that the chances of developing mastitis are very high. Additionally, digital dermatitis (warts) can spread easily in these muddy and wet conditions. Create other cooling alternatives.

Other resources about heat stress

In conclusion, let me point out that this article and list don’t provide a complete overview of the subject. Heat effects will differ widely across geographic areas and environments (facilities). Keep your eyes open around your own dairy cows and ask for professional opinions and advice from your veterinarian and/or hoof trimmer.

If you want to send me any ideas or suggestions, please contact me through the contact page. You can also download a printable version of this article, great for sharing with others!

Finally, I would also like to this article, written by professionals in cooling management:

Best of luck in keeping your animals cool!

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The way to hoof health success: ready-to-use Intra Hoof-Sol Spray® https://diamondhoofcare.com/intra-hoof-sol-spray-introduction/ Tue, 14 Aug 2018 06:00:57 +0000 https://diamondhoofcare.com/?p=7579 The post The way to hoof health success: ready-to-use Intra Hoof-Sol Spray® appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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Hoof care challenges have existed since the dawn of dairy farming. The search for ways to deal with them has never stopped. In general, farmers give their dairy cows a foot bath every week. The right and timely execution of this protocol with Intra Hoof-Sol Bath has produced positive results. Still, foot bathing often fails to deliver decent outcomes when farmers use inferior disinfectants such as formalin or copper sulphate. The reasons for failure include faulty positioning of the bath, shallow depth, and untimely solution replacement. Have you ever considered the traffic pattern of your herd while running foot baths? Generally, the cows with healthy hooves go through first. So, the lame ones trail behind and get the dirty solution.

The need for a new spraying solution

In recent years, dairy farmers and hoof trimmers have started looking for better options to manage the hoof health of their herds. Today’s dairy farms have several spraying applications to use instead of foot bathing or in addition to it. The manual low-pressure sprayer is popular. However, specialists have developed automatic hoof sprayers to add to milking robots and use for spraying in milking parlors. The benefit of the spraying protocol is that every cow receives clean, fresh product regardless of her position in the traffic line.

These developments plus the farmers’ need to prevent waste and ensure a long-lasting effect created the basic conditions for work to begin on the formulation of Intra Hoof-Sol Spray.Intra Hoof-Sol Spray

Introducing Intra Hoof-Sol Spray

With the support of distributors and hoof experts, the Intracare R&D team managed to deliver something unique. A strong “pearl-network” keeps the proven Intra Hoof-Sol active ingredients homogeneous in solution. Also, this network ensures the product sticks firmly to the hoof. Spot-spraying provides long contact time at a lower dosage per hoof compared to the foot bath method. Intra Hoof-Sol Spray comes as a ready-to-use solution and has excellent adhesion even to wet skin or hoof. Thus, it reduces the waste resulting from run-off on the floor.

Why Intra Hoof-Sol Spray?

After its successful launch, Intra Hoof-Sol Spray has enjoyed wide use on farms in Europe and North America. Testing goes on in all mentioned spraying systems under several seasonal conditions. Since May 2018, Intra Hoof-Sol Spray has debuted in 10 countries with great success.Intra Hoof-Sol Spray using Matabi Applicator

Cows with lameness issues need special care and attention. We recommend using a professional hoof trimmer to treat your animals before you implement spraying and/or foot bathing protocols.

Intracare advises starting with individual treatment with Intra Hoof-fit Gel in the hoof trimming chute. When adding the prevention protocol, we recommend using Intra Hoof-Sol Spray twice weekly for four weeks. After that, you can continue with one application per week.

Intra Hoof-Sol Spray has approval for use in organic farming and is gentle on the hooves. It will fulfill the needs of many farmers for several reasons. Firstly, it has proven efficacy and safety and is easy to use. Secondly, it ensures the absence of contamination between cows and minimal run-off on the floor. Finally, it has good flowability in all types of sprayers.

If you have any questions about this unique product, do not hesitate to contact us!

Product demonstration and flyer

The Intra Hoof-Sol Spray product flyer is available as a PDF download.

Watch the product demonstration below.

 

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“For the Record”: Hoof Trimmers Gathering in Ontario https://diamondhoofcare.com/hoof-trimmers-conference-ontario/ Thu, 09 Aug 2018 06:00:36 +0000 https://diamondhoofcare.com/?p=7664 The post “For the Record”: Hoof Trimmers Gathering in Ontario appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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Our industry is getting another great chance for a pro get-together. The Ontario Hoof Trimmers Guild (OHTG) is organizing a hoof care conference on August 24-25, 2018 in Guelph, ON. Generally speaking, OHTG events aim to provide continuing education to guild members. However, the group is also keen to educate industry partners. Those are the people offering products and services to farms.

Importantly, vets, nutritionists, and hoof trimmers have been working together to support our farmers. With the OHTG conference, we get another event that will allow the professions to network.

Conference topics

Here is what you can expect to hear and learn at the event:

  1. Updates on antibiotic usage for hoof care, the future impact of changes to the Veterinarians Act, and changes in the business landscape as driven by animal welfare;
  2. Pro-action and regulation changes regarding animal welfare and their implications for Ontario dairy producers and hoof trimmers;
  3. Board members of the Western Canadian Certified Hoof Trimmers Association on building credibility for the hoof trimmer profession;
  4. A Canadian Dairy Network (CDN) representative on developments in using collected hoof health data in sire proofs and farm comparisons.

In addition, the event will feature three workshops led by Dr. Ann Godkin. The topics are:

  1. Hoof trimming assessing
  2. Shopping for hoof care help
  3. What the future holds for the hoof trimmer profession

The full program and registration forms are available here.

At Diamond Hoof Care, we always strive to stay up to date with industry progress. For this reason, we keenly follow all research. Moreover, we never miss an opportunity to mingle and learn more. Therefore, our founder and CEO, Koos Vis, will attend the OHTG event. Besides soaking up any new information, he will also man our booth there.

The history of the hoof trimmers’ guild

The OHTG began in 2006 as a professional group for bovine hoof care practitioners. These were people “dedicated to a higher quality of success in animal care.”Ontario Hoof Trimmers Guild

Today, the group continues on its mission to improve understanding of cattle hoof care. Accordingly, its hoof trimmers hit the road every day. They offer support and trimming services to farmers across Ontario.

Importantly, most guild members have training in bovine hoof diseases, hoof biomechanics, and biosecurity on farms. In fact, eleven of them have taken part in research on biosecurity as relating to digital dermatitis (DD). The study covered over 300 dairy herds in Ontario. The final report of the Ontario Dairy Hoof Health Project is on the official website.

Note: some images on this page were obtained from the Ontario Hoof Trimmers Guild.

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Hoof trimming chutes to handle lameness https://diamondhoofcare.com/hoof-trimming-chutes/ Wed, 08 Aug 2018 12:00:59 +0000 https://diamondhoofcare.com/?p=6702 The post Hoof trimming chutes to handle lameness appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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Hoof trimming chutes: assets that get the job done

I think we can all agree that lame cows are a source of frustration and anxiety. Besides, hoof trimming is quite the chore. When we milk our cows, we get help from neat parlour facilities and milking robots. It is a routine job and having technology at our disposal makes it easy. But what about hoof care? The sooner we give lame cows proper attention, the better our chances of success! Can we get help here? Of course. Professionals know that using hoof trimming chutes gets the job done safely and expertly.

What you see below is an overview of the various hoof trimming chutes available in our North American market. For easy reference, we have listed them in alphabetical order by product name.

Note: chutes are also referred to as hoof trimming stalls or hoof trimming crushes.

You can download a PDF version of this article so you can print it and give it to others.

Alphabetical Index

Here’s an overview of the hoof trimming chutes this article covers. Click on an item in the list to jump to it directly.

Dr. Hoof

Dairy farmers can use the Dr. Hoof chute for hoof trimming and other cow care procedures.

Specifications

Hydraulic-operated unit available No
Manually-operated unit available Yes
Professional hoof trimmer models No
On-farm models Yes
Upright style chutes Yes
Lay-over chutes No

Canadian dealers

The Dr. Hoof chutes are available through various Canadian dealers.

Contact Nelson Martin for your local dealer information and detailed information on the hoof trimming chute. Ships across Canada for reasonable shipping rates.

Phone: +1-519-669-8884
E-mail: weberfarmserv@hotmail.com

Appleton Steel

Appleton Steel is an upright hydraulic hoof trimming chute for hoof trimming professionals and stationary use on farms.

Specifications

Hydraulic-operated unit available Yes
Manually-operated unit available No
Professional hoof trimmer models Yes
On-farm models Yes
Upright style chutes Yes
Lay-over chutes No

Comfort Hoof Care

The Comfort Chutes are available in either manual or hydraulic models for hoof trimmers and farms.

Specifications

Hydraulic-operated unit available Yes
Manually-operated unit available Yes
Professional hoof trimmer models Yes
On-farm models Yes
Upright style chutes Yes
Lay-over chutes No


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Custom Chutes

Custom Chutes builds all the layover hoof trimming chutes to order. Thus, customers have input in the chute design.

Specifications

Hydraulic-operated unit available Yes
Manually-operated unit available No
Professional hoof trimmer models Yes
On-farm models No
Upright style chutes No
Lay-over chutes Yes

KVK Hydra Klov

KVK’s upright hoof trimming chutes are for farmers and professional hoof trimmers.  

Specifications

Hydraulic-operated unit available Yes
Manually-operated unit available Yes
Professional hoof trimmer models Yes
On-farm models Yes
Upright style chutes Yes
Lay-over chutes No

Canadian dealers

The KVK chute is available through various Canadian dealers:

Mid Valley Manufacturing

Mid Valley’s stationary hoof trimming chutes are for on-farm trimming jobs.  

Specifications

Hydraulic-operated unit available Yes
Manually-operated unit available No
Professional hoof trimmer models No
On-farm models Yes
Upright style chutes No
Lay-over chutes Yes

Paul’s Hoof Chute

Paul’s hoof trimming chutes are for on-farm hoof care. However, they also come in handy for general cow care.  

Specifications

Hydraulic-operated unit available No
Manually-operated unit available Yes
Professional hoof trimmer models No
On-farm models Yes
Upright style chutes Yes
Lay-over chutes No

Real Tuff

This manual, upright chute offers a solution for hoof-trimming on-farm. In addition, it can serve as an ‘intensive-care’ unit when your cows need other health treatments.

Specifications

Hydraulic-operated unit available No
Manually-operated unit available Yes
Professional hoof trimmer models No
On-farm models Yes
Upright style chutes Yes
Lay-over chutes No

Canadian dealers

The Real Tuff Hoof Trimming Chute is available through various Canadian dealers. You can find a list on their website:

Riley Built

The Riley Built lay-over chute comes in three hoof trimming models. Both farmers and professional hoof trimmers use it.

Specifications

Hydraulic-operated unit available Yes
Manually-operated unit available No
Professional hoof trimmer models Yes
On-farm models Yes
Upright style chutes No
Lay-over chutes Yes

Tuffy Tilt

The Tuffy Tilt is a portable lay-over cattle chute for use on-farm and by professional hoof trimmers.

Specifications

Hydraulic-operated unit available Yes
Manually-operated unit available No
Professional hoof trimmer models Yes
On-farm models Yes
Upright style chutes No
Lay-over chutes Yes

Wopa

The Wopa is an open-design, upright hoof trimming chute. It can serve both professional trimmers and farmers.

Specifications

Hydraulic-operated unit available Yes
Manually-operated unit available Yes
Professional hoof trimmer models Yes
On-farm models Yes
Upright style chutes Yes
Lay-over chutes No

Canadian dealers

The Wopa Hoof Trimming Chutes are available through various Canadian dealers

For Ontario:
Knoops Farm Service
RR #1
Embro, ON N0J 1J0
Phone: +1-519-475-4381
Fax: +1-519-475-4194
E-mail: knoopsfarm@execulink.com

For Nova Scotia:
Boundary Lane Farms
RR #1
Shubenacadie, NS B0N 2H0
Phone/fax: +1-902-758-3550
E-mail: g.damsteegt@eastlink.ca

Zimmerman

The Zimmerman upright chute finds application on-farm for hoof trimming and for general cow care.

Specifications

Hydraulic-operated unit available No
Manually-operated unit available Yes
Professional hoof trimmer models No
On-farm models Yes
Upright style chutes Yes
Lay-over chutes No

Canadian dealers

The Zimmerman Hoof Trimming Chutes are available through various Canadian dealers. 

Davon Sales Inc.
50 Lansdowne Ave
Woodstock, ON N4T 1S3
Dealer website
Product link

Island Dairy Services
18 Exhibition Dr
Charlottetown, PE C1A 5Z5
Dealer website

McCann Farm Automation Ltd.
3837 Sand Hill Rd

Seeleys Bay, ON K0H 2N0
Facebook page

Meinen Brothers Agri Service
4628 Lougheed Hwy
Agassiz, BC V0M 1A3

Dealer website

Red Isle Dairy Services
1185 Irishtown Rd

Kensington, PE C0B 1M0

Looking for a printable copy of this post? Download the PDF version here.

The post Hoof trimming chutes to handle lameness appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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Four hoof experts share tips on hoof wrapping https://diamondhoofcare.com/hoof-wrapping-tips/ Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:00:54 +0000 https://diamondhoofcare.com/?p=7017 The post Four hoof experts share tips on hoof wrapping appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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Wrapping has been around for years as a way of dealing with hoof problems. The purpose of applying wraps varies between farmers and hoof trimmers. Some apply wraps to keep manure away from the wound. Others use it to keep the product on the hoof for an extended period of time. Still others would rather avoid wraps wherever possible.

We always want to hear what the experts have to say on any aspect of hoof care. When the subject of wrapping came up, we thought we should pick some professionals brains. So, we had a chat with four seasoned hoof trimmers. We asked them to share their experience, tell us about what they consider the best way to apply a hoof wrap. Our conversations also touched on how wrapping can fit into a successful hoof care protocol.

How tight is all right with wrapping?

We know that sometimes the purpose of a wrap is defeated because it’s too tight and actually harms the hoof. So we asked our pros to offer some tips on how to apply it properly so that producers can avoid this mistake.

According to Raymond Bouais, a professional hoof trimmer and dairy farmer from Sabrevois, Quebec, over-tightening is one of the biggest mistakes. He advises starting in between the claws, keeping slight pressure with your thumb when applying the wrap. A few turns will suffice, he says.

Mark Van Herk, a partner in Chinook Hoof Care from Diamond City, Alberta, suggests less wrap. If you use one roll of wrap for three feet, the wrap could become loose and maybe even fall off after a few days, he says.

Anette Örtenberg operates Anettes Klövvård, her hoof trimming business located in Vänge, Sweden. She has been using her method for more than 20 years with invariable success. Here’s how you do it her way. Start by cleaning the hoof all around the place where the wrap will sit and proceed with putting an elastic wrap. A practical tip: you should be able to get two fingers between the wrap and the skin. It’s important to have the wrap half on the skin and half on the hoof to reduce its tightness. After the cotton wrap, she puts an elastic “stick-on-wrap” and finishes with sports tape. When you get the tightness right, forgetting to remove the wrap shouldn’t be a problem because it’s loose enough. Besides, the cotton beneath prevents the wrap from getting too tight.

Albert Cousineau, an Ontarian hoof trimmer since 1980, believes that wrap quality is key. Sometimes you may have to go with a tighter wrap, he notes. For example, farmers may provide wraps exposed to too much moisture and those won’t stick. In such cases, the wrap will have to be tight and tied. If it’s too loose, it may come off within minutes of the cow leaving the chute.

When’s footbathing back on the agenda?

So, we’ve done the trimming and applied the wrap. At this point, some dairy farmers start wondering when they can let the cow back into the footbaths.

Mark says it would be best to resume footbaths as soon as the wraps come off. If producers set up the footbath on the day they cut off the wraps, the warts that haven’t yet fully healed will get a second hit before they have a chance to grow back too much.

According to Raymond, the treated animals have to return to the regular footbath routine one week after the wraps come away. Anette also advocates a wait of one week, which is also how long she lets a wrap sit on for best results. Albert suggests that farmers hold off on the footbath for a couple of days.

How do we approach monitoring?

Applying the wrap is just the start. Successful treatment requires monitoring, so we asked our experts to share their best practices. This includes the best time to check up on the cows receiving treatment.

Raymond points out that it all depends on the severity of the lesion and the products used. When dealing with any horn disease, a wrap should be used in cases of excessive bleeding. It will stop the blood and you can remove it the next day. When you use Hoof-fit Gel to treat digital dermatitis lesions, you should not keep the wrap on longer than three days. Raymond goes on to note that problems with wraps often occur because producers don’t remove them as prescribed. Trimmers have to explain how important it is to reassess the lesions and repeat the treatment if necessary.

Mark suggests asking your trimmer for a list of cows that need re-wrapping. The really big warts will need a second hit to ensure they die off. With smaller warts, he advises washing the feet in the parlor and monitoring the warts. If one becomes visible, you must wrap it right away to stop its growth and reduce the odds of bacteria spreading to the other cows.

Anette recommends checking up after a week. This is how long it usually takes for digital dermatitis or interdigital infection to heal without antibiotic treatment. Although it seldom happens, the hoof may require another wrap for another week.

Albert suggests that farmers examine the foot when removing the wrap. If it looks like a re-wrap is in order, they should leave it be for a day and then re-apply the wrap, keeping it on for two days. Unfortunately, very few farmers look at the foot when they remove the wrap, he notes.

Any parting words?

WrapAway

WrapAway© – the ultimate & safe wrap remover

Mark has something to add. He advises keeping your wraps in a heated location so that they remain sticky and adhere to the foot. Cold wraps will fall off way too quickly. And when the wraps are too tight, all the product will squish out, not to mention that the cow will have reduced blood flow to the foot. So, you’ll end up doing more harm than good.

Thus the pros have spoken and we greatly appreciate their contribution. We constantly strive to improve our knowledge base and share valuable tips with dairy farmers. Remember: you have allies in your fight for hoof health! Stay positive and if you have any burning questions, shoot us an email and we’ll get working on those answers.

Meet the contributors

Raymond Bouais

Raymond Bouais

Owner of La Sabotiere

Mark Van Herk

Mark Van Herk

Hoof trimmer at Chinook Hoof Care

Anette Örtenberg

Anette Örtenberg

Owner of Anettes Klövvård

Albert Cousineau

Albert Cousineau

Hoof trimmer

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The post Four hoof experts share tips on hoof wrapping appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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Concrete Flooring: Chat with Tom Woodall of AGRI-TRAC™ https://diamondhoofcare.com/concrete-flooring-tom-woodall-agri-trac/ https://diamondhoofcare.com/concrete-flooring-tom-woodall-agri-trac/#comments Wed, 27 Dec 2017 19:25:37 +0000 https://diamondhoofcare.com/?p=6785 The post Concrete Flooring: Chat with Tom Woodall of AGRI-TRAC™ appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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It’s difficult getting the dairy barn floor right, isn’t it? Say you go with concrete flooring, which is by far the most popular choice. While durable and easy to clean, it’s also the most unforgiving surface for cows. Make it too abrasive and you’ll speed up hoof wear, raising the incidence of lameness. If your concrete flooring is too smooth, it can lead to injuries as a result of poor traction.

Concrete flooring repaired by AGRI-TRAC

Poor floor imprint repaired by AGRI-TRAC. Image obtained from Tom Woodall.

There’s no doubt that barn floors are critically important. Dairy cows spend up to 12 hours a day on their feet so it’s obvious that ensuring their comfort is essential. You’ll get your rewards in the form of lower risk of hoof disease and lameness, increased productivity, and higher profitability.

But even if we agree that cows must feel as comfortable as possible, it takes special attention to detail when it comes to concrete flooring. In search of an expert opinion on the matter, we got in touch with Tom Woodall. He is the owner of Woodstock, Ontario-based AGRI-TRAC™ – a company specializing in dairy barn renovations and stable installations. In 1993, AGRI-TRAC™ began working on the concept of Traction-Milling™. The patented equipment and process make concrete flooring non-slippery, thus helping prevent injuries and improving hoof health.

Our Koos Vis approached Tom with questions ranging from the start of it all to how hoof trimmers fit into the picture. So, sit back, reach for a refreshing drink, and enjoy the conversation.

Concrete Flooring Repaired

Closeup of a bad imprint after repair by AGRI-TRAC. Image obtained from Tom Woodall.

Koos: You talk a lot about flooring in dairy facilities. Could you share with our readers how you got involved in the concrete flooring business? Let’s hear when and how it all started.

Tom: I grew up on a dairy farm with a 1940s-era barn: wooden stalls, a litter carrier manure system and old, very slippery, hand-mixed concrete flooring. Cows would always fall when we let them out. We didn’t know any different or how to fix it. In 1975, I had a summer job with a barn renovator installing stable cleaners and new tie-stalls. I fell in love with the difference we could make for farmers and their cows! I became his business partner and have been developing ways to improve barns and livestock handling facilities ever since.

As the dairy industry shifted to free-stall barns, so did we and flooring became more and more of an issue. Questions started cropping up such as what was best for excellent traction versus hoof wear, lameness, and ease of keeping a floor clean. Easy to do when pouring a new floor, but what to do about existing floors that became slippery? Breaking out 4-6 inches of perfectly good concrete because the top 1/8th of an inch was wrong simply did not make sense. So, we consulted with hoof trimmers and dairy producers for several years and combined their input with what we already knew from 25 years of pouring barn floors to develop a way of easily and economically changing that top smooth surface to provide the perfect texture for traction without hoof damage.

Since 1997, we have provided 6 million sq ft of Traction-Milling™ in 2,250 facilities throughout Canada and the United States.

Koos: You have visited many farms in Canada. Why do people usually contact you?

Tom: There are two reasons. First, the farm has a slippery floor problem, and second, the farmer wants our advice before pouring a new floor. With my experience pouring floors between 1975 and 2001 and my old partner doing the same since the 1950s, there is a lot of practical know-how we have that cannot be gained from a laboratory or from books. I can talk with farmers on a common-sense level and with contractors on a common-experience level. Having gained that experience, I like sharing it for free for the same reasons I mentioned before. It’s amazing to see the difference it can make to a barn and the cows in it! Information based on common sense should not have a price tag attached to it.

Koos: You have a special, unique method for preventing cows from slipping on concrete flooring. Would you mind sharing how you work?

AGRI-TRAC milling procedure

Traction-Milling the floor. This procedure is patented by AGRI-TRAC. Image obtained from AGRI-TRAC’s website.

Tom: Not at all. This actually goes back to your first question. Concrete is a funny thing. Farmers often have this attitude of “pour it and forget it.” Wrong! It is a tool that needs care and maintenance, just like a combine or a tractor. Even more so because you use every minute of every day, hopefully for decades. With our patented equipment, we can reverse the damage, wear or neglect of existing floors. We do it by grinding the slippery surface off and creating a new texture right into the aggregate (stones), which is the hardest part of the concrete mix of sand, stones and Portland cement powder. Hence, a longer lasting texture than what you can get with pouring, brooming, or imprinting. We also provide maintenance tips to give that floor and texture as long a life span as possible.

Koos: Is it important for you to know the condition of the hooves and to have contact with the farm’s hoof trimmer?

Tom: Cows are no different from humans when it comes to feet. If your feet hurt, your whole body hurts. If we have even a slight pain in our foot, we do the “head-bob” the same as a lame cow does. With livestock, there are so many reasons and variables that contribute to lameness. Who better than your hoof trimmer to know what those variables are from one farm to the next? On a farm where hoof health is good, there should be no problems with the Traction-Milling™ of the floor. Where hoof condition is a problem, it’s best to consult the hoof trimmer.

Depending on the problems, the particular floor areas or amount to be done can be determined to ensure the hooves heal at the fastest rate. In some cases, Traction-Milling™ will help the healing process. Constant slipping or sliding will cause hoof problems. Think about when you use a shovel: the hand that is constantly sliding gets the blister, not the hand that has a firm hold. It’s the same with a hoof. When it slips on a smooth or grooved floor, it often wears on the sides or the heel. If there is good traction, there is no frictional wear. The only time there will be wear is when the cow is turning. That wear will be on the toes, not on the heels. You want that and so does the hoof trimmer.

Tom Woodall Portrait

Tom Woodall at AGRI-TRAC

Thank you, Tom! If you need additional information, you can contact Tom at:
Tom Woodall
AGRI-TRAC Inc.
986 Lansdowne Ave.
Woodstock, Ontario N4S 7V9
Canada

www.agritraction.com

Toll-free: 1-877-966-3546
Cell: 519-536-6985

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Talking with Australian lameness expert Peter Best https://diamondhoofcare.com/australian-lameness-expert-peter-best/ https://diamondhoofcare.com/australian-lameness-expert-peter-best/#comments Thu, 16 Nov 2017 01:58:25 +0000 https://diamondhoofcare.com/?p=6651 The post Talking with Australian lameness expert Peter Best appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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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

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The post Talking with Australian lameness expert Peter Best appeared first on Diamond Hoof Care.

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https://diamondhoofcare.com/australian-lameness-expert-peter-best/feed/ 1
Forage banking: no worries over summer feed supplies https://diamondhoofcare.com/forage-banking/ 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! 

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