Managing Hoof Health in Wet conditions and Winter

Unprecedented wet conditions bring significant challenges in managing sound hoof health in dairy cattle. Winter is not that far off either, hence, it is timely to pay attention to hoof health now. 

Hoof tissue is a structural tissue. Certain nutrients are key for ensuring that your cows have strong and healthy hooves. Nutrients nourishing hoof tissue include Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese and Biotin.

Hoof tissue is under constant wear and tear. A balanced ration ensures dairy cows receive necessary nutrients to keep the hoof tissue growing and structural integrity maintained. Lameness in dairy cows has negative economic consequences through reduced reproductive performance. Lame cows eat less, lose weight and are less mobile, thereby preventing active display of estrus and estrus detection. Lame cows are more likely to be culled.

Helpful hints to manage improved hoof health

• Timely refurbishment and regular maintenance of laneways. Walk cows to the dairy at their natural pace.

• Feed a nutritionally balanced dairy pellet. Avoid rapid changes in cow’s diet.

• Ensure hoof nourishing nutrients are included in the dairy pellet well before the wet season.

• Observe and record cow gait and back posture while standing and walking (Locomotion Scoring).

• Consider timely trimming of overgrown hooves.

If you require on farm assistance our trained Sales and Nutrition staff will be able to help. Call 1800 COPRICE.