Shoe trimming

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Countrygrl3, Mar 2, 2005.

  1. Countrygrl3

    Countrygrl3 Well-Known Member

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    What do you all use to trim your cows feet? how short should they be?

    someone told me to just let them break off, but i have this deathly fear that they will break off too far. thanks so much!

    Sue
     
  2. SmokedCow

    SmokedCow Well-Known Member

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    We have are cows just wear them off themselves. But...when we do trim, we use a horse hoof cutter....works great!
    AJ
     

  3. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    I think you mean hoof trimming. Are you talking about a dairy cow or beef cows?

    If your cows get regular exercise, like being out on pasture or turned out regularly, they should be wearing down their hooves enough to not require trimming. If they are standing in manure all day or in a pen, then their hooves are not being worn from exercise.

    The toe of the hoof grows fastest, so if you are seeing sled toes, you've got hooves that need trimming.

    It is hard to do a good job trimming cow's feet when you have to pick them up and use a trimming box. You should have a hoof knife, a hoof trimmers and a rasp, as well as a bottle of Kopertox. If you don't know what you are doing, you can literally render the cow unable to walk from taking too much off and damaging the corium. You have to trim and shape the toes, soles and keep the weight-bearing surface on the heels balanced and level unless you are "resting" them.

    The best way to do this is to have a hoof trimmer with a tilt table come in and trim the cows feet, and best time to do it is upon drying the cow off. I don't like the guys who use grinders for shaping the hooves.

    A lot of the county extension offices will have vets and professional hoof trimmers put on trimming clinics. It takes a while to learn how to trim hooves properly. I hired a guy to trim my dairy cows once a year and had him for 4 years until he had taught me enough so that I could handle them all myself. He sold me a tilt table and I do all my own trimming now.
     
  4. Countrygrl3

    Countrygrl3 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry equine terms tend to travel with me.

    i purchased a dairy cow and her hooves definately had the sloped affect, that your talking about. thats why i was wondering. i want to trim it up enough so she can walk w/o tripping on her own feet. i trim my horses shoes myself so i am comfortable working with them, i am just trying to get an idea of what i am aiming for. i studied a diagram of a cows internal hoof structure, but i wanted to find some more pearls of wisdom :) thanks,

    Sue
     
  5. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    CG3,

    It's kind of a two-man job without a tilt table. For the hind legs, do you have an overhead beam in a barn or shed, a beam hook and some rope. You could hoist her rear leg one at a time.

    First, clean bottom of both toes off real good with the hoof knife. You want to make your first cut with the trimmers on the inside toe. With the trimmers, cut perpendicular to plane of foot and take the front of the toe off. Do not cut down past the white line. Stay a little ways a way. Then you can make smaller cuts around the outside edge of the toe and cut thin cuts off the toe from the bottom. Shouldn't have to cut any off the bottom of the heel. Do the outside toe the same, and see that you've got them even and level on the weight-bearing bottom of the heel. Round them up with the rasp. Give them a good shot of Kopertox.

    Better to always cut off too little than too much. If I get a chance I'll write a better description.
     
  6. Countrygrl3

    Countrygrl3 Well-Known Member

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    Great! thanks so much, that was the clearest thing i have read describing how to trim hooves :worship:

    Sue
     
  7. dcs13

    dcs13 Member

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  8. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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    On our Dexter forum we have a picture tutorial if it would be of any help to you, you can see it here

    http://www.dakodan.net/dexters/forum/viewtopic.php?t=605

    It does take a little time to load if you have a dial up, but it shows what the cows finished foot should look like. A kind lady in NZ supplied the pics when she did her Jersey, thanks Midge. Take a look though, it may be of some help.

    Carol K
     
  9. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    I'd say that attempting to trim a cow's hooves without her being restrained is foolish. You can get away with that with a real small breed, but wouldn't try it on large animals and especially on the rear feet.

    A hoof trimmers is better than a nippers in my opinion, although both will work.

    CG3, Here's a link to a site that talks a great deal about nutrition, trimming and common foot problems in cattle. There's a fairly detailed discussion of steps for trimming. http://www.cattle-lameness.com/pdfs/Educational Resources A - I.pdf

    Here's a link to some references (books and videos) on trimming, although I'm sure there are several such guides available. https://hooftrimming.securesites.com/estore/shop.php?category=3

    Again, best way to learn is to watch a hoof trimmer do several cows.