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Hoof Signals

  • Hoof Signals

Hoof Signals

Jan Hulsen

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- Success Factors for Healthy Hooves

Author(s): Jan Hulsen

About The Book

  • Our cows' hooves are the weakest link in their health, along with feed and feed intake. Cows that become lame - however slightly - will eat, drink and lie down less. They will therefore produce less milk and it will be more diffi cult to get them in calf. Plus they will need additional attention and work on an ongoing basis.
  • This is why it is important for every livestock farmer to pay constant attention to the health of his cows’ hooves. In terms of the design and construction of paths and barns. In terms of the way they are managed so they remain clean and dry. And in terms of daily care tasks such as feeding, moving and treatment of the animals.
  • Hoof Signals provides all the practical knowledge a farmer needs to get hoof health on his dairy farm under control. With easily understandable descriptions, clear drawings and lots of photographs.

Additional Information

Author Jan Hulsen
Availability In Print
Dimensions 20.4 x 26.5cm
Extent 60pp
ISBN 978-90-8740-091-0
Publication date 2011
Book Type Softcover


A good manager makes hoof health care an integral part of his work and in his daily, weekly, monthly and annual routine. He also focuses on prevention, so his time is not constantly taken up treating lame cows. He thinks ahead!

The modern farmer knows that he can bring in specialist vets, hoof trimmers and feed advisors. They may not have a clear picture of why certain conditions come about, but they know more than enough about how to prevent them.

1. Four success factors for healthy hooves

  • Success factors
  • Success factors 1, 2 and 3
  • Success factor 4
  • Monitoring results
  • Breeding, rearing, introduction
  • Hoof Quality: how do you achieve it?
  • High-risk times: calving
  • Minimal forces: strategy
  • Outside hind claw carries most weight
  • Avoiding harmful environmental effects: strategy
  • Tackling at source
  • Early and effective intervention: strategy
  • Early and effective treatment

2. Day-to-day practice

  • Young stock
  • Introducing heifers: the no. 1 high risk time
  • Ensuring hoof quality and minimising forces
  • Drying off
  • The cow in the herd
  • Are the cows lying down enough
  • Driving: peacefully, safely and always in the same way

3. The most common conditions

  • Heel horn erosion: bulb horn (slurry heel) and interdigital space
  • Digital dermatitis
  • Interdigital growth: irritation and inflammation
  • Foul-in-the-foot
  • Laminitis is not just one thing
  • Long-term disability
  • White line disease: seperation
  • Sole ulcers

4. Hoof care and treatment

  • Work to a strict routine
  • Planning, organisation and working methods
  • Functional pedicures (trims)
  • Preventative footbaths
  • Pedicures and hoof trimming
  • Attaching blocks
  • Sole ulcers and white line abscesses
  • When do you intervene?
  • Tips and information before you start trimming

5. Monitoring

  • Use of information
  • Structure your attention
  • The financial side
  • Observing cows in the milking parlour
  • Monitoring hoof health: scoring hoof condition
  • Recording hoof data
  • DairyCo mobility score
  • Score card in the milking parlour: hoof hygiene and hoof health
  • Hygiene score
  • Comfortable cubicles
  • Instructions for hoof bandages
  • Successful footbathing
  • Treatment plan for hoof conditions


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