Hoof trimmer: Richard Weingart, North Franklin, Connecticut
Case study: Maintenance trim on a rear hoof
Chute style: Right-tilt
1. Beware of the hazard of hoof trimming – instant gratification. Because the work of a hoof trimmer is to frequently make a lame cow walk again, it is easy to only feel good about working on lame cows. Although not as fulfilling or noteworthy, maintenance trimming is more important.
Consider how much a lame cow will cost the dairy in lost milk production before you get to trim her, your wage to trim her once she’s lame and other costs in follow-up treatments. Considering all of these costs, maintenance trimming twice per year is really cheap.
|2. Upon visual inspection, this hoof has about the right amount of normal growth for a healthy animal this age on this dairy. She was trimmed six months ago.
|3. Measure the inside toe to check for length. Measure when you first start trimming. Your eye will adjust and you will learn to gauge length with experience.
|4. Next trim the sole of the inside claw. Because of the way cows walk, it is important to have balance in the back heels. There are a few different ways of achieving this balance. The difference of opinion is in how much and how far back on the sole to remove. This is how much I typically remove.
|5. Next trim the sole of the inside claw. Because of the way cows walk, it is important to have balance in the back heels. There are a few different ways of achieving this balance. The difference of opinion is in how much and how far back on the sole to remove. This is how much I typically remove.
6. Concave slightly the ulcer site and nip the front of the outside claw. There isn’t much to take off the outside toe to make the toes even across.
There is a little color left here on the sole. A little of this sole is flaking off. Some would say I could have taken this off too. I think it’s going to wear off. I’d rather leave a little too much than take a little
Avoid removing axial wall. Axial wall helps the claw’s stability.
7. This is what the hoof would look like from the front when finished. It’s always better to leave a toe a bit longer than have it be too short. PD