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trimming cow hooves

Discussion in 'Behaviors & Handling Techniques - Cattle' started by USpony, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. Feb 9, 2017
    USpony

    USpony Exploring the pasture

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    Can cattle be taught to stand on three legs to have their hooves trimmed and filed like a horse? Yesterday I visited a beautifully keep amish farm so I could see their cows. They seemed healthy except that the 7 year old mini jersey had really long feet. I trim and file my own pony's feet and am tuned in to how hoof health affects the health and longevity of the animal.

    If I buy this older cow ,or a younger one, how so i keep their hooves tip top?
     
  2. Feb 10, 2017
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    :idunno:caf:pop Never heard of anyone trimming cattle hooves... I HAVE heard of show cows having their feet pedicured and painted :ep So I'm watching for some cow folks to comment...
     
  3. Feb 10, 2017
    mysunwolf

    mysunwolf True BYH Addict

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    I'm also following, because I have definitely heard of dairy cattle needing their hooves trimmed. I've always wondered how anyone gets them trained for such a task! The videos I saw showed a block being put under the hoof and someone taking a chisel to the exterior to chip off overgrown pieces. Maybe cattle people will know?
     
  4. Feb 10, 2017
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master

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    Trim, or hoof table. It tilts.
     
  5. Feb 10, 2017
    CLSranch

    CLSranch Ridin' The Range

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    You can have them stand like a horse and get their feet trimmed, or you can pick them up and use tin snips like with a goat. But they make a special hoove trimmer for cattle that doesn't require picking up the feet. It's like a long curved pair of snips. There is a thread on here about people trying to use the on horses feet instead of doing them right.
     
  6. Feb 10, 2017
    CLSranch

    CLSranch Ridin' The Range

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    Depends on the specific animal, rocks in the terrain, and grain. Most don't need trimmed just by their walking and natural wear, if used as an oxen and spending time on pavement they make shoes for them. Like a goat though if a completely soft terrain they may need the occasional trim. Also if showing or giving special/extra feed to help grow the coat the hooves grow to. I've had goats in the same pen where 1 never needed trimmed and another needed it 3-5 times a year.
     
  7. Feb 10, 2017
    farmerjan

    farmerjan Loving the herd life

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    Yes they do need trimming on occasion. Mostly will depend on a couple of factors. Ground conditions. They will wear if the ground is harder, gravelly as opposed to wet soft ground. Feed is the biggest factor. If they are fed too high a protein feed, they often will grow more. Some will grow more than others. Just like a goat or sheep, some seem to grow faster/longer than others in the same pen. Genetics have a play in it too.
    GB is right. Most of the dairies have a hoof trimmer come in, they use a tilt table. Cow gets straps around her in a chute like catch; table tilts up and they use a pair of snips to cut off long pieces and a grinder to smooth and level them. Some cows do it okay, some hate it. They will seldom stand on 3 legs like a horse will. We have one that has one toe that grows real long. We take a pair of "loping" shears that you trim small branches off a bush/tree, and just cut the long piece off while she is in the head catch and all 4 feet are on the ground. Not fancy, but we get enough off to give her some relief from the awkwardness of the one long toe, and she can walk more normally. Have had the vet trim it and he said it is just one of those things. There is no excuse for a cow to get feet so long that it hurts her to walk. The loping shears do a good enough job to give some semblance of evening the toes to match and are not rocket science. There are some that are trimmed for show and such, but everyday stuff is just about helping them to have a reasonable base and for them to keep them worn down naturally.

    One reason that dairy cattle need their feet trimmed regularly is the concentrated feed they get. Another is that they spend so much time on concrete that the feet don't wear down like in a natural setting. They often will get more things like warts between their toes, and foot rot is frequent from the constant contact with urine and manure that is more concentrated on the concrete. We take them away from the way nature intended them to be, feed them feed that is more concentrated than they "need" for their body to survive because we want more production, and we add to their problems.
     
  8. Feb 10, 2017
    cjc

    cjc Loving the herd life

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    For sure they can depends on the cow and if not then you just need good equipment. I have a few calves I raised by hand I could do just about anything to for a head scratch and some grain. A lot of "show cows" are tame like this.

    A dairy cow will probably be more inclined to let you do this because they are used to being handled but without good equipment a lot of older cows that were handled wouldn't want anything to do with you on their feet.

    With our beef herd I would never do anything to their feet unless there was a major issue. Biggest thing I do with them is try and keep them dry when it rains a bunch to avoid foot rot which is a major issue out here. Other than that I have a cow that is 10 in a field and we have never trimmed her hooves.
     
  9. Feb 10, 2017
    USpony

    USpony Exploring the pasture

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    Our mid-western ground is soft and no opportunity for natural wear. I will have a dairy cow I hand milk so hopefully I can get her used to having her feet handled.
     
  10. Mar 4, 2017
    purplequeenvt

    purplequeenvt True BYH Addict

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    We have a guy with a tilt on his truck that comes here. I probably have pictures somewhere.