Foot Care in Cattle Farming
Foot health is one of the important parts of herd health. Lameness may occur as a result of missing or improper care.
With the increase in the number and capacity of cattle farms, foot health and related lameness in the herd have also started to become widespread. The protection of foot health, especially in dairy cattle enterprises, is an important issue desired yield characteristics. In any problem that may occur in the foot health of an animal with a high milk yield , a significant decrease is observed along with a decrease in appetite. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate foot diseases and lameness more comprehensively.
Cattle are removed from the herd for some reason. One of the most important reasons for forced culling is lameness. Failure to keep the culling rate at the desired levels results in economic loss. Thus, diseases that may cause forced culling should be kept under control. To keep the lameness rate under control in the herd, precautions should be taken in practices such as herd management, care and feeding.
Concerning nutrition; sudden feed changes, vitamin and mineral supplements, fat and protein content of the diet, and starch/cellulose ratios are the factors that directly affect lameness. The increase in the acidity of the rumen as a result of feeding with rations containing high starch and low cellulose is one of the most important causes of lameness. Likewise, high fat, protein, mineral and vitamin ratios in the ration affect nail quality and hardness.
Concerning care; especially shelter conditions are effective in the formation of foot diseases. A clean pasture or shelter environment where animals can roam freely reduces the incidence of foot diseases to a minimum. The nails of animals housed on dirty floors where manure and urine are not well-drained are exposed to high humidity and begin to soften. Since the movements of the animals are limited in the stables with tied stalls, the floor must be kept clean at all times. Otherwise, it will not be possible to protect the health of the feet, as they will have to stand on the floor where there is constantly stool and urine. Apart from this, regular nail cutting and care also help to prevent diseases. When faulty nail cuts are made, foot diseases occur because the bodyweight is not equally distributed to each foot. In enterprises where the movements of animals are restricted, problems occur due to excessive elongation of the nails. Such problems can be prevented by good nail care and cutting.
With the Health Management Module in MilkingCloud Herd Tracking Software, you can record animals’ examination results and treatment methods with lameness. In this way, you can more easily control the lame animals in your herd.