Saturday, March 17, 2012

Hoof Trimming Artistry

Yesterday's schedule included the monthly visit from our cows' podiatrist, commonly known as the "hoof trimmer".  Providing hoof care prevents lameness that creates discomfort and leads to decreased milk production. It's a fact---high quality milk is produced from cows that are healthy and comfortable. One of the most common hoof problems for cows on our farm is when the hooves grow long in the front of the hoof making it difficult for the cow to walk.

Ben, our hoof trimming specialist, identifies hoof problems and works with precision and great skill to carefully trim each hoof as needed. He brings a special hoof trimming table that allows each cow to be treated individually. One by one, each cow walks into a chute that is connected to the hoof trimming table. Once secured in the chute, the hydraulic equipment secures the cow to the table and turns the cow on her side. After trimming the hooves, the cow is turned to the standing positon released from the chute and ready to eat or return to the pasture to rest. I find it amazing to watch how Ben works much like an artist, carefully making sure every precise movement of his tool results in a perfect hoof shape to provide comfort for the cow when walking.


I'm thankful for professionals, like Ben,  that work with us to make sure our  dairy cows are healthy and comfortable and able to produce  high-quality milk for my family and yours!

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