Dairy Cattle Hoof Trimming
The reason cows become lame can be quite complex, as many of the factors are interrelated. However, the main reason cows become lame is most often related to cows walking on hooves (claws) with a compromised or unbalanced weight bearing surface.
Overloading the cow’s claw due to excessive wear or overgrowth can create a claw that is sensitive, unstable and more prone to lameness. Therefore, cows’ feet need to be checked and trimmed for two reasons:
- Restoration of appropriate weight bearing within and between the claws of each foot
- Early identification of claw lesions
It is important to note that not all cows examined will require trimming, as over-trimming can result in greater incidence of lameness.