What’s the fuss about Hoof Health?

Cattle can’t walk without feet, so taking care of their mobility is hugely important. Healthy feet means weight gain and good carcass quality. Most importantly though, healthy feet improve comfort and wellbeing. At Eagle Direct we value animal wellbeing, staff satisfaction and people who love good trade practice. We believe in Health by Design- designing a healthy environment for the animals using systems that work. 

4 Types of Lameness:

  • White line lesions are the most common, and is found on the outside claws of the back feet. Often stones are found within the cracks, however white line lesions are not caused by the stones, just exacerbated by them. 
  • Foot rot can be identified by swelling or lesions on the skin between the claws that sometimes have yellow pus or discharge. Foot rot is the only type of lameness that can be treated by antibiotics.
  • Toe Ulcers or Necrosis is seen after transport where the cattle might have broken a toes from moving around a lot. It can also be caused by over trimming the hoof. 
  • Overgrown Feet is the biggest reason for lameness in long fed cattle because their hooves grow five millimetres per month. One problem for overgrown feet is that the toes grow faster than the U. The pedal bone turns backwards and places pressure on the Corium and destroying the fat bag. Another is when the claws break off too short, causing toe necrosis.  

A note for managers and owners is that we never want to see any lameness on the toe area or front claws. Lameness here means there is problems with the facilities and the way the cattle are being handled or trimmed. 

  • Heat Stress: We can’t discuss hoof health without discussing heat stress as they are so linked. When a cow’s body reaches 39 degrees they begin overheating, causing them to stand up in order to cool their bodies down even if they are tired or have sore feet. Lying down assists with blood circulation that doesn’t occur when they stand, causing ulcers to form. The important thing to note, is that while heat stress can cause lameness, they might not occur at the same time. Lameness can develop one to two months later when the horn has worn through and the results can be physically seen. 
  • Hoof Growth: In a period of 15 months, a hoof can grow 75mm. Lack of wear such as in a feed lot or if the ground isn’t coarse enough, the hoof can become overgrown. This is a big problem for long fed cattle who are in a feed lot for 400-500 days. 

To identify lameness, watch out for are an arched back, shorter strides indicating a locomotion impairment, excess saliva indicating pain and if they are at the back of their herd. Lameness can also be seen by looking at daily weight gains over a month or so to identify lower averages. 

How to improve production, welfare and happiness:

Eagle Direct uses the Comfort Hoof Care Chute. What we’ve found is that by attending to trimming only on lame animals, we forget about the functional trim which is looking at the angle on the claws. The aim of Functional trimming is to shift the weight of the cow from where the pedal bone is pinching, causing the cow to be walking more on the toe. To do this we create around a 52 degree angle hoof which is very similar to a calf hoof, restoring angle and balance to the two claws. This reduces the strain on the tendons, giving the claws greater function and eliminating pain. Trimming at 150 days, and again at 300 gives us the data we need to identify potential causes and reduce lameness overall. 

Eagle Direct

Eagle Direct provides ongoing support, training and equipment all across the country. We are more than happy to provide consultations to discover the particular areas that need attention in your yard. Our access to world leaders in the industry give us a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw upon, including the most recent research. We can review any records and create and support ongoing strategies to help improve hoof health and profitability. 

In order to create hoof health champions we want to connect with you, your employees and your managers. We’re passionate about making connections and supporting you in a practical, every day way that actually makes a difference.  

So check out our webinar here: YouTube or give us a call on 6394 6064 to get started. 

Cow Brushes

Cow brushes are a relatively low cost way to improve animal welfare and promote correct cow traffic in your barn. While cow happiness may never be scientifically proven, US studies have shown that the simple addition of one or more cow brushes to your barn helps to increase cow health, cow comfort, animal welfare and overall performance.

The brush helps by increasing blood circulation while keeping the cows clean, busy and happy in their environment which, by anecdotal assumption, will lead to better milk production. A small investment could pay big dividends for your farm so call us today to arrange a quote.

Enquire Now

Hoof Trimming Chutes

Good cow health starts from the ground up. Maintaining hoof health in your herd is one of the most important, but often overlooked, factors in maximising your returns. Wet & sloppy conditions underfoot exacerbate hoof problems and can make your herd more susceptible to injury and microbial entry. From cracked hooves to foot rot, poor hoof health takes a toll on your livestock, no matter what the species.

Good nutrition and ongoing hoof care are the best preventative measures a farmer can take. Eagle Direct works very closely with Comfort Hoofcare – arguably the global leaders in good hoof health. We stock a range of hoof health products in our online shop but it all starts with the animal chute which we can deliver direct to your farm saving you time & money.

Enquire Now

Calf Pens

Your calves represent your future herd and future income. When a calf is born it does not have a developed immunity system so keeping these calves safe & healthy in the first 6-8 weeks of life is critical to ensure it can go on to become a healthy productive animal for many years.  Our calf pens or hutches give calves the perfect start to life allowing one to one bottle feeding several times a day, individual health monitoring and a degree of isolation while their bodies develop and outgrow the newborn susceptibilities.

Enquire Now

Barn Lighting

Research has shown that a well-lit barn can both boost your bottom line by reducing energy costs and increase milk production. The manipulation of day/night rhythm to achieve a longer-period of light can have significant positive effects not only on productivity but also on health and fertility. Studies out of the US & Europe found that a 16-hour “photo-period” boosted milk production by up to two litres per day more than cows on a natural 8-hour “photo-period”.

Sourcing suitable lights and optimising them for your farm is where Eagle Direct can help. We work with the leading suppliers from around the globe and have access to experts in barn lighting that assist all our customers to find the right solution for their enterprise. Drop us an enquiry today to discuss your requirements.

Enquire Now

Soaker Lines

In warm weather, cows adjust their behaviour and physiology in an attempt to cope with the heat load. Cows will seek out cooler microclimates or protection against the sun which will often reduces their lying and feeding times and can increase their respiration rates. Production losses and elevated body temperatures can occur and sometimes result in infertility.

Along with fans, soaker lines installed along feed bunks or bedding areas are a very successful way of bringing down cow’s body temperatures and ensuring their comfort. The frequency & location of spraying is an important factor to keep cows at the feed bunk longer and to ensure they are comfortable during rumination periods. Improved cooling translates to better milk production and healthier animals.

Enquire Now

Cooling Fans

Ventilation in barns, particularly where cows are tightly packed eg. holding yard/s, should always be considered a priority in any infrastructure planning. Good facility design will create the most effective air movement. Fans will then increase this air movement – moving warm air away from cows and creating air movement over the cow’s skin to enhance evaporative cooling through sweating during warm-hot days across Spring, Summer & Autumn.

Placement, angle and size of fans are all important considerations and will need to be taken into account when designing an improved cow cooling solution for your farm. Used together with soaker lines will have an even greater cooling effect for your animals. Call Eagle Direct today to discuss where your farm is currently at so we can assist you in designing a system that will maximise your investment from both a productivity and cow comfort standpoint.

Enquire Now

Silage Equipment

Silage rakes and facers can provide greater consistency in feed quality and ration composition for farmers handling lots of feed daily. Losses through mismanaged silage can easily mount up and with feed being such an expensive commodity, it’s a critical aspect of farming that you simply can’t afford to get wrong.

We all know that the less exposure silage has to air, the better preserved it will be. Silage facers, with their rotating beater, powered by a hydraulic motor, leaves a face that is still tight & even. Using a silage facer or rake avoids unnecessary wear & tear on other farm equipment eg. skid steer & bucket or tele handlers. Facers & rakes also ensure consistency no matter who is doing the job of getting the feed.

Enquire Now

Feed Mixers

Mixing feed has advantages for both the farmer and livestock, as uniformly mixed feed components provide better nutrition, improved feed efficiency and cost, and the opportunity to reduce wastage.

In dry times, when much of the feed is purchased off farm with higher costs, wastage and efficiency are even more critical. Improved nutrition benefits milk yield or weight gain, and contributes to animal health and fertility.

Eagle Direct works closely with Canadian based Loewen Manufacturing who are one of, if not the most trusted brand when it comes to manufacturing quality and reliable feed mixers. The Loewen Vertical & Horizontal Feed Mixers come in a range of sizes (12m3 to 60m3) with tandem or single axle undercarriage. If you’re considering investing into feed mixing equipment, make sure you talk to us so we can show you a Loewen mixer in action on farm.

Enquire Now

Feed Automation

Presenting feed to your livestock in such a way as to increase dry matter consumption and the production of milk while minimising associated costs is nirvana to the farmer.  At Eagle Direct we’ve done a lot of work with ValMetal and specifically their Pro-Feed 2020 which is a self propelled feed pusher which uses an auger to push the silage or hay back to the animals increasing odour and palatability.

A robust, waterproof controller with a 10’’ (254mm) touch screen is very easy to use and can save a heap on labour costs. The menu is simple and user-friendly – the feeder can also be controlled from your computer, tablet and cell phone; no matter where you are.

Enquire Now

Enquire Now

Please complete the form below or call us on +61 2 6391 6064.

Sand & Manure Separation System by McLanahan

McLanahan Sand & Manure separation systems are used to settle out and wash bedding sand, and can be set up in multiple ways depending on the type of manure conveyance system on the dairy. In some cases, the sand-laden manure from the alleys is loaded directly into the separator, where bedding sand is settled out and washed. On a dairy where flush water is used to move the manure and sand bedding, the separator is used to wash the sand after it has been settled out either in a McLanahan Channel System or scooped from a sand lane. In all cases, the Sand-Manure Separator produces a clean, reusable sand bedding product with minimal organic content, suitable for reuse as recycled sand bedding.

Enquire Now


The US Farm Systems Separator Screens come in several sizes ranging from 5′ X 6′ to 8′ X 12′. The appropriate size is selected based on the type of waste being separated and rate processing requirements; Eagle Direct can help you find the perfect combination to process your waste water and manure efficiently and economically. Our v-wire screens come with a wide range of opening spacing, 0.010” to 0.060”. Moisture contents of 85% are attainable for separated solids with a separator screen alone.

Waste water and manure screen separator are not only useful at dairies, they perform in a variety of situations and waste materials.

Enquire Now