Trimming Strategy Affects Hoof Lesion Prevalence

By Steve Mason on

In the initial phase of the Alberta Dairy Hoof Health Project, 7 professional hoof trimmers recorded the presence of lesions on the hooves of 28,607 cows in 156 Alberta dairy herds from June 2009 until November 2012. To examine the influence of their hoof trimming strategies on hoof health, herds were classified according to whether they did whole-herd or partial-herd trims. A whole-herd trim was defined as one where 80% or more of the cows in the milking herd were trimmed within a 15 day period. A partial-herd trim was one where less than 80% were trimmed in the same period.

Results of comparing the 2 strategies are shown in the table below. Herds that did whole-herd trims had fewer cows and, on average, 93% of their cows were trimmed at each trim session, compared with 18% for the partial-trim herds. On farms with partial-herd trims, prevalences of the most common lesions were higher than on farms with whole-herd trims. It is possible that whole-herd trimming facilitated better hoof health management because almost all cows were inspected rather than just those selected by farm staff who may not have recognized cows in need of attention.

Trimming Strategy
# of Herds8769
Avg # of Milking Cows243139
Avg % Trimmed/Session1893
Avg Trim Session Interval, months26
Lesions:Average Prevalence, %
Any Lesion37.926.8
Digital Dermatitis23.013.8
Sole Ulcer7.15.5
White Line Lesion5.74.3
source: Laura Solano et al., Journal of Dairy Science 99:1-14(2016)

The full journal article in which these results are reported is here.

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