Better communication could reduce lameness

Closer communication and more stable cow management could help reduce lameness on-farm, according to a survey of operators for the National Association of Cattle Foot Trimmers (NACFT).

NACFT member Steve Paul told delegates at the Large Herd Seminar, Gloucestershire, some of the guess work in tackling lameness could be removed by better communication.

“To tackle lameness we need good milking routine, stable cow nutrition, deep sand cubicles, good stockman and proactive foot-trimmers,” he said.

He also explained how some trimming conducted on-farm wasn’t helping lessen lameness. “Too many are taking too much off the heel of a cow’s foot and we need to be identifying problems such as sole ulcers sooner.”

And too many were also paring away at sole ulcers which did not aid recovery. “Leave it alone – it’s just a bruise. Ensuring the adjacent claw takes more weight should be the aim for treatment,” he advised.

Where a necrosis is found, it should be treated first, he continued. “Eighty percent of lesions have a necrosis. If you don’t kill it first the foot will not recover regardless of how many blocks you apply.”