Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

5 Things I can't do without: Hugh Love

PD Editor Walt Cooley Published on 19 November 2009


This article was #2 in PDmag's Top 25 most-well read articles in 2010.



Summary: Idaho hoof trimmer Hugh Love owns his own business, Rocky Mountain Hoof Care. He says he couldn’t do without an Appleton Steel Hydraulic Elevator Chute, Matabo grinders and chipper wheels, a pressure washer, a membership to the Hoof Trimmers Association and treatments for hooves that includes shaving soap, terramycin powder as well as chewing tobacco dipped in iodine.

Click a link below to read other articles in the Top 25:
The boogey man in the milking parlor:
12,000 hooves: Trim them all at once, twice per year
Do you know the new calf and heifer-raising standards?
India: The world’s largest milk producer:
Margin outlook not as strong for 2011:
Carcass composting project unearthed in California:
5 things I can't do without: Leon Leavitt:
CityBoy cartoon Issue 18 2008:
Students obtain “hands-on” experience through summer dairy program:
Sorghum: An economical forage for dairy producers
Running out of time: U.S. must become a global dairy supplier
Should I exit the dairy industry?
Crossbreeding study participants share observations, opinions:
Every herd has metritis:
World Dairy Expo video:
5 Things I can't do without: Darin Dykstra:
Let's agree on a few things about MPCs:
Oregon State cows monitored 24-7:
Brubakers find many benefits with methane digester:
How to adjust rations to incorporate BMR corn silage:
Time to reclaim animal well-being as our issue:
3 open minutes with Doug Maddox and Gary Genske:
3 open minutes with David Martosko of HumaneWatch:



Hugh Love is an independent hoof trimmer and hoof care instructor from Preston, Idaho. His business is Rocky Mountain Hoof Care . He’s been trimming cows for more than 15 years and clips about 12,000 cows per year at dairies in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. Love is a retired military drill sergeant who first learned how to trim from his neighbor.


“Hoof trimmers, by and large, are like gypsies,” Love says. “We’re at a job for a day or two and then pick up and go someplace else.” He shares his essential tools for efficient and effective hoof trimming:

1. Appleton Steel Hydraulic Elevator Chute
Love says he wouldn’t trade his chute for anything. It’s the “Cadillac” of trimming chutes. He’s modified his chute to include an industrial fan that will blow ambient air onto the back of his neck in the summer or heated air during the winter. Love recalls trimming in Star Valley, Wyoming, one winter, using tarps draped from the chute’s lightweight roof to make a tent. Inside the tent it was -25ºF; outside it was -35ºF. “I never want to do that again,” Love says.

2. Matabo grinders and chipper wheels
Anything but a Matabo grinder will wear out in two to six months, Love claims. He’s had his current Matabo for two years. Love prefers any chipper wheel manufactured by Roto-Clip, Spin Trim or Trim-Tec.

3. Pressure washer
After every trimming, Love hoses down his chute and equipment. He’s not particular about a specific brand of pressure washer. When on the road, Love says he will use a car wash to clean up. The trick there, he says, is to spend an extra quarter to get it clean. Regardless of how it’s done, a clean chute and truck are a requirement from Love’s spouse of 27 years, Karlene Love.

4. Hoof Trimmers Association
Love is an active member and past president of the Hoof Trimmers Association. He says he’s looking forward to the association’s next convention in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Feb. 18-20, 2010. The group has 200 hoof trimmer members and convenes every 18 months.



5. Soapy terramycin and chewing tobacco dipped in iodine
To treat hoof warts and lesions, Love has developed two unique ways to apply medicinal treatments. He mixes shaving soap with terramycin powder and dispenses it from a re-closable water bottle. Love believes his soapy mixture to be more effective in treating warts because when wrapping a hoof after applying the mixture, it seeps around and into hoof warts, covering them more completely than powder.

Love uses tobacco dipped in iodine to treat lesions and ulcers. Sugar in the tobacco, he says, has a curative property. He picked up the tip from his father-in-law, a former dairyman.

“You can learn a lot by listening to older dairymen who didn’t have a lot of the pharmaceuticals currently available,” Love says. PD