When you’re maintaining your cows, the “to-do” list can seem a little overwhelming. There’s the day-to-day grooming, cleanup, and a host of “other stuff” that needs to be done. If there are problems, you’ll need a reliable vet on hand, but you’ll also have to find a good quality farrier who can visit your location to care for your cow’s hooves so that you can maintain your full schedule. A good quality what, you ask? Read on for a quick breakdown of the hoof care basics everyone involved in the large domestic animal including Cow care should know. What on earth is a farrier?
A farrier specializes in hoof care. You can think of him or her as a cattle podiatrist of sorts, but taking care of hooves is quite different. A farrier is responsible for balancing and trimming cow’s hooves to avoid any unnecessary worries, discomfort, or immobility. Do you want a natural farrier?
Some people care a great deal about whether a farrier uses natural methods, and others only care about getting the job done most quickly and easily possible. One thing to consider: using natural methods can help maintain your cow’s hooves without introducing toxins to their systems or the environment. Remember, your cows are going to be stomping around on your grounds; do you want them spreading whatever unnatural products your farrier has used? What if there’s an injury?
Certain diseases can cause hoof problems, as can certain injuries. Have no fear; a skilled farrier is also trained to deal with these situations. When there’s an injury, it can be hard to know whether to call the vet or the farrier. But, if the injury is limited to the hoof area, the farrier will likely be your best bet and may be able to advise you on whether or not a vet needs to be called in. If you’re nervous, call both. How often do my cows need hoof care visits? You should plan a hoof care visit for every four to eight weeks. Of course, the actual time will depend on your cows and how often they graze and how quickly their feet grow. Try to get all the cows on the same schedule. This way, you can have the farrier come over for one hoof care visit to take care of all the hooves at once. This isn’t necessary, but it’ll certainly save you time and money. Otherwise, for a large herd, you could end up having the farrier there every day. That’s just not convenient for anyone, is it? Is there anything else I can do? Sure! Many hoof care products on the market can help you care for your cow’s hooves between visits to the farrier – from creams to tapes. Try to narrow your search by finding products that are environmentally friendly, free of antibiotics, and easy to apply. This way, you won’t irritate your skin while applying the product, and your cow (and grounds) will be free of chemicals and other harmful substances.