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Herd Health

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

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Hoof trimmers, industry representatives and sponsors gathered in Syracuse, New York, July 19-22 to attend the Hoof Health Conference.

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In addition to being detrimental for cows’ longevity, reproductive performance and production, lameness is our dairy industry’s most visible animal welfare issue. We face increasing pressures from the public to ensure our cows are well cared for.

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Time and time again, research shows there are multiple different risk factors that result in a cow getting lame. From cow housing and bedding to manure management, nutrition, cow hygiene and trimming schedule, there are a lot of factors to consider.

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Dairy cows spend about half of their lives standing or walking. Anything that affects a cow’s ability to walk comfortably will have a negative impact on milk production. Cows with sore feet don’t appreciate standing for excessive lengths of time waiting to be milked and are quickly limited in their ability to get to the feedbunk and waterers.

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Lameness is a highly visible and important animal welfare issue, and nutrition should be part of the focus of managing it, says Mike Hutjens, professor emeritus of animal sciences at the University of Illinois.

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“I will contend that we now know more than ever what causes lameness, and while we still have more to learn, we know enough currently to solve the global lameness problem in our dairy industry,” Dr. Nigel B. Cook of the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Veterinary Medicine says.

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