Trimming a cows hoof

When taking on the task of trimming a cow’s hoof, you will find that it’s very labor intensive.

Do your research and understand what the cow’s hoof shape is, before you start trimming. When the hoof is trimmed with a 45 degree angle, it will give the greatest amount of shock absorption. Take a look at a one to two-month-old calf’s hoof. You will know if they have been trimmed correctly, when the toes on each foot are equal in length and all equal in size.

The best time to trim cow’s hooves is in the latter part of lactation, doing the trimming before then will cause a disruption in the milk production.

By using tilt tables to trim cows hooves will allow total restraint. This method does have disadvantages. The trimmer will have disadvantages in checking the correct angel on the hooves. You can also trim cow’s hooves, as they stand, but will need assistance to restrain your cow.

To begin the process of trimming cow’s hooves you must assemble the proper equipment. You will need, several sharp-hoof knives, a rasp or electric sander, hoof nippers, gloves, and be properly trained and a person to help restrain Bessie.

If this is the first time trimming your cows hooves, have a trained professional or veterinarian supervise you until your skills are developed.

Steps in trimming cows hoof:

• Restrain cow

• Begin with hoof knife

• Remove hard sole toward the toes

• Remove small amounts of tissue from the heels, as you pull toward the toes take more tissue off. Your goal is to have the foot properly shaped.

• Don’t cut too deep. Under trimming is better than over trimming.

• If satisfied with the sole and no problems are spotted, move on with the nippers, for shortening the toes and shaping the hooves. Take small cuts at a time from the underside. When finished the hooves should be concave in shape.

• The hooves should be finished by sanding or rasping the rough edges. If left with rough edges the foot could develop a bacterial infection.

By keeping the cattle area dry, using a copper sulfate foot bath for control of foot rot, exercise room, and well-balanced diet, these are preventive maintenance for your cows hooves, between their regular trimming. Your should trim your cow’s hooves once a year. If you notice any problems by all means seek out professional help.