Hoof care problems and lameness can dramatically impact cow comfort, resulting in decreased productivity and profitability for the dairy. The first step in solving the problem is to call in the experts. That is where BouMatic® Hoof Care Specialist, Ken Vos, steps in. Vos has spent the past 5 years solving hoof care issues and lameness on dairy farms across the Midwest. You can find Vos' tips on hoof care in the July edition of Progressive Dairyman.
Vos' first step is to review typical causes of lameness and to score the herd to determine the scope of the problem. Next, he develops on-farm protocols to resolve the issues. Vos encourages the dairy farmer to determine the current average milk yield per cow before beginning treatment. This enables the dairy farmer to see the improvement resulting from incorporating good hoof care protocol. "I have seen a 2- to 5-pound improvement in daily milk production per infected cow, that is a big jump in profits for the dairy," Vos says.
For some dairies, Vos recommends a hoof bath which provides consistent treatment of the entire hoof or at a minimum consistent spraying of hooves. "Hoof baths are really the way to go. BouMatic s StepSept line is an affordable option which improves hoof health and is environmentally safe," Vos says. A herd with dramatic hairy hoof warts can initially require treatments five days per week. After 45 days, treatment can usually be reduced to a maintenance schedule of three days a week. In most cases lameness can be reduced by 60 to 75 percent with this schedule.
"It is satisfying to see a cow's health improve by making minor changes on the dairy farm. I like cows. I like showing dairy farmers that hoof sprays and baths can help keep their herds healthy and increase profitability," Vos said.
If your herd is experiencing lameness or hoof care problems and you want an affordable solution, contact Ken Vos at firstname.lastname@example.org.