What is the cost of lameness? When you think of the reduction in yield, BCS and fertility issues all stemming from the cow not wanting to get up to eat as much as normal because it is painful to walk. The longer they are untreated the higher the cost. Yes I know it is not rocket science. But when the national average is over 30% lame cows on UK farms, it is something we can work on to improve. (This is mobility 2 and 3 cows.)
Top tips to get on top of lameness and reduce this cost to your farm.
- Trained staff member to pick up lame cows ASAP and treat accordingly.
- A workable foot trimming crush – the easier to work with the more likely it will get used!!
- Use a foot trimmer for routine cows (depending on the size of farm weekly -once a month – every six weeks). Best time for the cow for routine trimming – the 4 weeks before drying off. Also 100+ DIM if needed.
- Work with your foot trimmer find out the main lameness issue that they are finding.
- Mobility score gives a great overview of the % in your herd and a good way to monitor improvements. Especially if lame cows are treated ASAP after the scoring day.
- Work with your vet to identify areas that could be causing the lameness issue
- Do an environmental assessment to see if areas such as housing, tails walkways, holding areas could be improved (usually easy fixes)
- Footbath – is it being done at the correct % for the solution you are using? Do you really know how much water it holds!
- Have an exit plan for your chronic lame cows if they have not responded to treatments.
We are working with the local foot trimmers in our area who are keen to help their farms improve. They want to do more routine cows rather than lame cows, which have in some cases have had to wait until their next visit.
We can train your staff to identify and treat your lame cows and we can help with environmental assessments. These help to identify areas that could be the cause of the problem and hopefully come up with solutions to prevent them in the future.
Digi blitz – if this is your main issue please contact your vet or Nat. We can talk through how this could work on your farm.
For more information on foot trimming training, foot trimmer contacts, environmental assessments and foot baths – please contact Tom Wright, Rob hall or Nat Parker.