On average, a dairy cow will be standing or walking for 2-3 hours a day. They can cover a distance of nearly 3 miles during that time.
And with a cow weighing on average about 1,500 lbs., that’s a lot of pressure on those hooves every day. This leads to wear and tear to the hoof which can contribute to abnormal growth.
Left unchecked, damaged or diseased hooves can cause a number of serious issues. Not only will this affect the cattle, but it will also have a significant impact on your profitability. The risks can be minimized with proper hoof trimming, however.
So read on as we take a look at the key benefits of hoof trimming in dairy cattle.
1. Reduces Injury and Lameness
The most obvious benefit of proper hoof trimming is the impact on injury and lameness.
Hoof trimming returns the hoof to the correct balance so that there is no undue pressure on any one part. It means the hoof is better able to support the cow’s considerable weight and reduces the risk of future problems.
It also helps to remove any dead horn, allowing the healthy horn to grow into its place. In this way, the chances of injury or even lameness are significantly reduced. Since a lame cow cannot travel to be milked, profits will inevitably be impacted.
Lameness in dairy cattle has an estimated cost of between $90 and $300 per cow.
2. Stops the Spread of Infectious Diseases
Diseases such as digital dermatitis and heel horn erosion can also have a measurable negative impact on profits.
Reducing the spread of these contagious diseases is vital in order to maintain a happy and productive herd. By cleaning and trimming hooves regularly, it minimizes the spread of these diseases.
The earlier that these conditions can be detected and treated, the less impact they will have on the rest of the herd.
3. Increases Milk Yield
Studies have shown that happy and healthy dairy cattle produce more milk than those that are in pain or suffering from a disease.
For example, heel horn erosion and hemorrhage have been shown to decrease milk yield by an average of nearly four pounds per day. By following a regular hoof trimming regime, it will maximize the yield of your dairy herd. This means both more profits for your business and happier more contented cattle.
In addition, as we have already seen, lame cattle are often unable to be milked at all which will also severely impact the yield of your herd. Investing in proper hoof trimming equipment will pay for itself in the long term.
Are You Looking for a Way to Simplify Your Hoof Trimming?
If you’re looking to reap the benefits of hoof trimming, Riley Built is here to help.
Our hoof trimming chutes and tables are ideal if you’re looking for speed and efficiency in your hoof trimming processes. You get the convenience of being able to bring your hoof trimming chute wherever you most need it.
If you’d like to know more about our hoof trimming products or are interested in our financing options then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.