Know How / Foot health

Advice on the prevention and treatment of lameness in beef and dairy cattle and sheep. Find out how to deal with foot health issues including spotting the symptoms of scald, footrot, CODD, digital dermatitis and foul and best practice on foot-trimming, foot-bathing and carrying out mobility scoring.

Advice and tips


How to minimise claw horn lesions at calving time

Extra attention to cow comfort around the calving stage is vital to minimise sole ulcers and sole haemorrhage, according to a leading vet and clinical researcher. Dr Reuben Newsome of…


3 key beef lameness risk areas to look out for

Foot health issues in the beef industry can prove expensive, with longer finishing times resulting in higher cost of production. Ensuring foot-trimming is carried out properly is important (as well…


Infectious causes and treatment of lameness in beef cattle

Foot health is less talked about in the beef industry than in sheep and dairy farming, but the financial losses can be just as significant. Lameness in a beef animal…


Step-by-step guide to foot-trimming in beef cattle

Beef producers are being advised to adopt the mindset of dairy farmers when it comes to tackling lameness in their herds. The economic losses associated with poor foot health can…

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Case studies


How a slurry robot is helping reduce disease on dairy farm

Following the installation of four robot milkers 14 months ago, Devonshire farmer Steve Davey realised the need to find a solution to conventional slurry scraping in cubicle sheds. “After we…


Sheep farmer abolishes foot-rot in a year through vaccination

Lameness in sheep is not only detrimental to the animal’s health, but has repercussions on performance and profits, estimated to cost £89.80 a case. Government targets from the Farm Animal…


How a Scots sheep farm improved growth and reduced lameness

Addressing mineral deficiencies through a supplementation programme has saved a week on lamb feeding time and improved ewe lameness rates for a high-output Scotch Mule flock. Annual silage analysis reports…


Automatic system detects lame cows before humans can

Just two months in to using the UK’s first leg-mounted, automatic lameness detection system, the team at Pomeroy Farm have picked up lame cows they hadn’t spotted by eye. Although…

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Research sheds light on tackling CODD

New research findings on contagious ovine digital dermatitis (CODD) in sheep highlight the importance of isolating bought-in stock and suggest a link to digital dermatitis in cattle. A survey of…


Understanding the causes of lameness and reducing risk

A better understanding of a structure in cattle known as "the digital fat pad" is possibly the most exciting recent advance in the lameness control. The increased knowledge of this…

Driving down lameness levels – an expert opinion

There's no excuse for untreated lame sheep, said Prof Laura Green, FAWC member and professor of epidemiology at Warwick University. In March 2011 the Farm Animal Welfare Council, now the…

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Free computerised lameness detection available soon

A diagnostic computer model identifying specific stages of digital dermatitis (DD) lesions at no cost to the farmer is expected to be available this summer. Scientists at the University of…


Corkscrew claw prevention method needs research, say experts

A pioneering foot-trimming method which is claimed to prevent corkscrew claws should be scientifically verified before industry-wide adoption, leading lameness experts have warned. The method uses the axial wall as…


Farmers confused about foot-trimming practices, survey finds

Farmers are unsure when to carry out routine foot-trimming and don’t know which trimming method is best, a survey of 354 dairy farmers has found. Vet and Nottingham University student…


Genetic selection could hold key to lameness control

Genetic selection could be the future of lameness control, according to researchers at Liverpool University, who have found lameness is as heritable as milk yield. In the past, low to…

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Hit Squad helps tackle lameness in Carmarthenshire

As a follow-up to Farmers Weekly's campaign, sheep lameness experts Ruth Clements of FAI Farms and vet Joseph Angell from Liverpool University formed the Stamp Out Lameness Hit Squad. They…


Welsh sheep farm looks to Stamp Out Lameness

As a follow up to Farmers Weekly's campaign, a group of specialists teamed up to form the Stamp out Lameness hit squad and visited three farms to highlight key areas…


Video: Detect lameness early with new automatic system

A new fully automated mobility alerting system could help dairy farmers tackle lameness. IceScore Mobility from IceRobotics, automatically and continuously monitors dairy cows and promptly alerts the farmer when an…


Video: Focus on mobility to stamp out lameness

Have you ever been on a farm visit and thought "My herd's lameness isn't nearly as bad as theirs"? If so, you may well be in for a surprise when…

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