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HERD HEALTH

Find information about mastitis, transition cows, vaccination protocols, working with your veterinarian, hoof care and hoof trimming.

LATEST

Extra days open, premature culling, lost milk production and even death are some of the costly consequences of lameness on a dairy, but there are ways producers can cut down on losses.

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Do you know what causes about 50 percent of lameness cases in dairy cattle? Digital dermatitis. This disease is tricky to manage and can cause serious economic losses if not controlled. 

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No one likes to see a lame cow – not the farmer, vet, employee, hoof trimmer, consumer and especially not the cow itself. Lameness, cow comfort and animal welfare have come to the forefront of many headlines in the past few years.

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A study coordinated by the University of Minnesota, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin – Madison and North Dakota State University, compared the effects of the functional hoof-trimming method to an adapted version of the technique and found benefits for young cows.

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Eighty-seven hoof trimming enthusiasts attended this year’s Wisconsin Hoof Trimmers Getaway held in Tomah, Wisconsin, earlier this year. Here, they learned how to become even stronger advocates and resources for their dairy farmer clients while developing their businesses.

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I have been a dairy nutritionist for over 33 years, and I am usually the first to know when one of my dairies is having hoof health problems. While many issues with cow health point back to nutrition, I have found that hoof problems, more often than not, stem from environmental causes rather than nutrition.

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