Indeed, such characteristics as the hoof angle, the heel height, the position of the hind legs (side view), as well as some other characteristics for the assessment of the state of legs and hooves, significantly affect the health of animals and are considered in the selection process. But this process is too long and requires careful selection and choice of stud bulls that are improvers not only for the yield of milk, but also for the limbs.
As world practice shows, only prevention and competent treatment of feet and hooves of dairy cows give the most positive results if the management of dairy herds and the improvement of their production profitability. The underlying cause of limb and hoof diseases is usually the wrong technology of animal feeding and keeping. It includes such practices as overfeeding of ruminant animals with concentrated feeds, which in some farms make up over 60% of the diet, and year-round stabling of animals with no grazing in the pastures or no daily exercise, and poor sanitary conditions or lack of proper care for the hooves on the part of the veterinary staff.
So what activities are fundamental for the preventive care and treatment of feet and hooves?
The most important activity is the correct trimming of animal hooves.
In our country, as a rule, the hoof trimming is done by the staff of farms who have incomplete knowledge of the structure of hooves or their diseases. In this process, they use such locally improvized material as boxes and tree stumps, fix animals to stall pipes or vacuum hoses, use different variants of knives, nippers, chisels, pincers that are not fit for hoof trimming. All this affects the quality of hoof trimming, and, consequently, the health and productivity of the cows. The managers of livestock enterprises, by trusting this work to their unskilled staff and saving money on this important technological activity, in fact only reduce their income due to daily shortfall of milk. In such situations, the best way is to invite hoof treatment experts from outside.
Planned hoof trimming should be carried out in farms twice a year: before and after the grazing period. In such operations, it is best to use tools for fixing the cattle, which allow to completely immobilize the animal and fix its limb safely for the humans and the animals. In addition, there are versions of machines that fix the animal in a horizontal position. This allows access to all four hooves at once and without much risk. Typically, these machines are easy to maintain, and a hard welded steel frame provides reliability. If necessary, you can use the mobile versions of the machines.
In the treatment of hooves, the main principle used today is to isolate the sick hoof from the external environment for 7-10 days. For this purpose, special orthopedic shoes made of plastic are used. These shoes have three types of soles: a simple sole, a sole with the rise on its left side, and a sole with the rise of its right side. Such soles on shoes relieve the pressure from the internal or the external hoof. In practice, such sore hoof after trimming is processed with medicines, bandaged with a binder or plaster, impregnated with 8% tar and zinc oxide, and it fitted with a shoe. The cow is able to move, and the shoe offloads the sick limb.
In modern animal husbandry it is important to have healthy animals, and to pay special attention to the state of their feet and hooves, which largely effects the duration of their productive longevity. Too soft wooden, or too hard concrete floors, the slope of the floors, the poor condition of roads for driving the cattle, and other factors increase the risk of diseases and injuries of hooves, thus reducing the profitability of production and leading to earlier culling of animals. To solve this problem, you must have high-quality and reliable equipment and tools to conduct their timely treatment (one or two times a year), and have trained personnel.
Bentley Ukraine Company offers a wide range of cutters for hoof trimming, orthopedic shoes.
Contacts: Kyiv, Moscovskiy Av., 10b,