Mobile cows are happier, more productive and have greater longevity

Total Hoof Care is a joint venture between Torch Farm Vets, Penbode Farm Vets and local hoof trimming expert, Dave Rowe.

We offer a complete service to prevent lameness occurring including preventative trimming, mobility scoring and on-farm assessments of lameness risks.

We also offer treatment trims but our aim is to provide a lameness prevention service so that over time we would rarely need to treat lame cows.

We see a need for a top quality hoof care service providing the best in preventative trimming and lameness prevention advice and we believe that Total Hoof Care provides this with the support of the three professional partners.

About Lameness:

Lameness is the most significant issue on farms and is regarded as one of the three key issues every dairy farmer is faced with along with mastitis and fertility.

The effects of lameness on a cow:

  • Lameness can reduce conception rate by more than 25%

  • A clinical case of lameness can reduce yield between 400-600kg depending on lesion type and severity

  • Yield depression can last 9 months

  • Higher yielding cows are more at risk of becoming lame

  • Lame cows are less fertile – less cyclic and more likely to be cystic

  • If a heifer gets an ulcer on her hoof, she will have damage to the Corium for life. So it’s always better to prevent the ulcer in the first place by functionally trimming

How much are you losing through lameness?

The true cost of lameness per incident is £323* per cow.

Breakdown of cost per lameness incident:

  • Death £63
  • Early culling £156
  • Loss of milk £39
  • Discarded milk £4
  • Extra days open £31
  • Labour £4
  • Treatment £22

Based on the national average of more than 25% of cows at any one time being lame, this cost is likely to be in excess of £8,619 each year per 100 cows.

On that basis, a 300 cow dairy farm could be losing in excess of £25,827 through having lame cows.

Our emphasis is on quality of work and what is best for the individual cow and the farm.

What Total Hoof Care do:

  • Total Hoof Care offers a quality controlled service with trimmers undergoing a stringent training scheme (Dairyland) and being checked regularly

  • All trimmers are members of the CHCSB (Cattle Hoof Care Standards Board) which involves an unannounced inspection annually by an independent assessor.

  • We aim to offer the best possible service to our customers backed up by our expertise as vets and David’s wealth of experience of hoof trimming and training for many years

  • Herd consultancy (AHDB Dairy Healthy Feet Programme Mobility Mentors)

Benefits of Total Hoof Care:

The combined veterinary and hoof trimmer approach offers a more integrated programme of herd hoof care, treatment and mobility.

Four steps towards happier, more productive cows:

  1. Monitor mobility
    • Mobility scoring (RoMS registered) identifies lame cows early
  2. Carry out routine preventative trimming
    • Routine trimming means cow identification and lesions seen
    • Little and often keeps hooves in shape
  3. Understand the causes of lameness on your unit
  4. Introduce a control plan of targeted prevention measures

Prevention is better than cure.

MOT your cow’s feet and reduce the incidence of lameness on farm

We have had a busy first 18 months providing a quality hoof care service to our customers, using fully trained and qualified technicians who are independently audited. This is the quality of foot trimming that Farm Assurance Schemes and Milk Buyers are increasingly requiring  to meet their standards.

A  vital part of this service is preventative foot trimming. Where possible we recommend cows receive two trims annually at 8-4 weeks before they calf and again at 100 DIM.  We also recommend preventative trimming and regular foot bathing of heifers because, if you prevent problems in heifers they are less likely to have problems as cows. Lame heifers never make old cows.

We use a modified five step trimming method tried and tested by David Rowe himself and hoof trimmers from all around the world. David has 25 years’ experience of trimming and had been using the Dairyland trimming method for 10 years.  This involves measuring correct claw length, assessing correct sole depth and correctly shaping claws to relieve pressure – wherever possible sole horn is left on the foot.

Correct functional trimming does not require horn removal from all of the sole, never involves grinding the hoof wall or trimming between the claws and should not result in all of the feet being white. You should never have lame cows after preventative trimming.

David says “By using up to date cow friendly crushes and the latest techniques and technology, we can achieve great results for our customers. By using computerised record keeping we can easily identify problems in the herd and report them to you by email after each visit, building up a foot health picture for your herd.”

Total Hoof Care service offered by Torch Farm Vets
Total Hoof Care service offered by Torch Farm Vets

Records from all of David’s herds show that from 2014 -2018 he has reduced the two main hoof lesions year on year:

Where David has made the biggest reduction is with the farms that he provides timed trimming twice a year (Dry trim 100 DIM):

A clear indication of how twice yearly preventative trimming can reduce lameness is shown from one farm below. (Policy change on farm in 2016 when they went back to once a year trimming):

Contact Total Hoof Care:

Holsworthy: 01409 253418

Bideford: 01237 870456

Facebook: @totalhoofcare

It is our aim to work as part of your team of advisors to ensure good quality healthcare that is value for money.

Independent vets, dedicated care

Utilising a wealth of experience within our team, we provide our farming community with the support, advice and clinical expertise required to drive efficiency and profitability on their farm