Timely trimming of the hooves of cows is a necessary process to keep animals healthy and not to allow milk production to decline. Burenka permanently kept in a stall in the tied state, it is necessary to carry out such a procedure at least three times a year. With loose contents, it is enough to cut the hoof horn twice in the winter.
What do you need to handle hooves
Like the nails in humans, the hoof is a dead epithelium. It grows at an average speed of 7-8 mm per month and in animals kept in natural conditions, is erased when walking.
In autumn and winter, when cattle are kept in barns and do not have the ability to move a lot, the rate of increase of the cornified surface is much higher than the rate of abrasion. Cow hooves increase in size, becoming more brittle, and crack, opening up access to microorganisms.
Bacteria quickly develop in cracks, creating painful feelings for the animal. The cow begins to involuntarily transfer the weight of its body to its feet with normal hooves, which is manifested in lameness. Because of the constant pain, her appetite is gone, and her milk production decreases.
If you timely trim the hoof, the problem itself is solved in a short time.
Regular pruning protects health
Professional trimming of cattle hooves requires mandatory fixation of the limbs of the animal. For the processing of hooves, special machines are used, which you can learn about by reading the article “Machines for treating hooves of cattle”.
Stationary, mobile and handicraft machines greatly simplify the process of "trimming" the hoof horn, saving cattle from stress and injury.
Tightly fixed limbs of a cow are preliminarily cleaned of dirt, and only then the operator cuts the old horny surface until a white fabric appears.
Clearing the hooves of cattle is a very important step in the whole procedure, and it needs to be given maximum attention.
To handle the hooves, they must be carefully examined to identify fungal and infectious diseases that require immediate treatment.
The sharp edges of the cornified surface are cut off and rounded off, after which the limbs are treated with a disinfecting solution. For the treatment of hooves, a special bath with disinfectants is used, through which 100% of bulls are kept on the farm. cows and calves.
Processing hooves of cattle involves the use of a solution of formaldehyde or copper sulfate, but in some cases, veterinarians recommend the use of other therapeutic and prophylactic solutions.
How to trim the hooves of a cow
As mentioned above, in order to properly cut the hooves of the cow, it is necessary to immobilize it, carefully fixing the limbs.
At home for this purpose it is recommended to lay the animal on its side and tie it tight. As a rule, for the processing of hooves it is necessary to have two or three strong men, while in the presence of a machine, clearing and trimming the hooves of cows requires the participation of only one operator.
It is recommended to carry out the trimming procedure with a grinder where discs are inserted, or special hoofed knives and cutters.
Remember that it is better not to finish the hoof, leaving a part of the old horn, than to touch the living tissue, causing the cow additional pain and inconvenience, which can reduce the number of milk yields by 20-25%.
First you need to clean and cut the front limbs, and only then go to the rear. In identifying wounds and scuffs, they are necessarily treated with iodine.
The surface of the trimmed hoof should be perpendicular to the axis of the leg, which ensures that the cattle have a normal gait and a uniform distribution of weight on all the limbs. The surface plane is checked using a special tester or by applying a special knife blade.
How are hooves handled
After cleaning, it is necessary to carry out disinfection of the limbs, preventing infection and exchange with other animals kept on the farm. It is recommended to drive the cattle through a special hoof bath filled with copper sulfate or formaldehyde solutions.
Basic requirements for disinfecting baths:
- equipment is required in a place through which all cows that pass the procedure for pruning and inspection must pass;
- the disinfection tank should have a minimum width of 1 m, a length of up to 3 m and a depth of up to 15 cm so that the animal is guaranteed to wet its limbs in the treatment solution;
- after passing 200–250 head of cattle through a bath, the disinfecting liquid must be replaced in order not to provoke the transmission of infection from sick cows to healthy ones;
- Before changing the solution, the tank for disinfection must be thoroughly rinsed with a large clean water pressure.
The use of baths for the prophylactic treatment of cattle limbs should be carried out once every two weeks, and daily with the detection of infected cattle.
Competent and timely care for cattle allows you to keep animal health and milk yield at a consistently high level, preventing the spread of infections in the barn.
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