It’s been great to see our wide brown land green up with the summer’s La Nina weather system but with rain comes a new set of challenges – one of the most important being your cows hooves and the increased potential for lameness.
Lameness is an incredibly common problem on dairy farms. Yet, with some simple prevention tips, you can enhance your milk yields and boost your bottom line. Let’s take a look.
Being on the front hoof with regards to hoof health can help to avoid uncomfortable animals and the associated loss of production that can arise. Waiting until you have lame cows is too late.
In collaboration with the world’s leading experts on hoof health, Eagle Direct promotes a concept we call hoof health by design which essentially means that good hoof health starts and finishes with a proactive commitment to maintaining your herd’s hooves year round. This proactive commitment can be broken up into 3 main areas:
1. Well designed feed pads or barns
If you’re looking to build, it is critical to design your shed/s first and foremost around the comfort of the cow. Of course, there’s many factors such as cooling, lighting, bedding & layout to consider (amongst others), but an often overlooked factor is flooring and how your cows will move about is so important. In a feed pad situation, flooring is just as critical to get right with regards to runoff, dust & odours.
2. Well designed walking tracks
Talking about moving about – what do your walking tracks look like? With your cows tramping these tracks several times a day, it’s essential they are comfortable while moving between the holding yards, feed pads and bedding areas. Happy cows will result in higher yields, it’s that simple. If your walking tracks are slippery, sloped or rough, the more stress and strain it will place on every animal.
3. Functional Hoof Trimming
Getting feet right for peak production starts before your cows are lame. Learning proper hoof trimming techniques and using equipment specially designed and fit for purpose will allow you to take care of your cows and reduce the likelihood of lameness developing. The benefits that result will improve your farm’s bottom line.
Here at Eagle Direct, we not only supply you with everything you need to perform functional hoof trimming we also offer comprehensive training at your farm and access to international leaders in hoof trimming best practice. Not only will you have a happy herd but they will be producing to their full genetic potential. Furthermore, you will no longer need to engage hoof trimming contractors as you & your crew will be the experts.
Don’t wait till it’s too late to do something about it and don’t keep watching your profits erode due to mismanaged hoof health. Let us help you put these strategies in place on your farm today.