Hoof trimmers register all “findings”, or all “no findings” on each hoof of every cow they trim. Using a tablet, it is nowadays an easy system and part of every hoof trimmer’s work. They register three different categories, 0 means no disease, 1 means mild disease and 2 means severe disease. The Hoof Health index describes the bull’s daughters’ genetic ability to resist hoof diseases. The Hoof Health index includes 10 hoof disorders grouped into seven sub-traits:
- Sole ulcer
- Sole haemorrhage
- Heel horn erosion
- Digital dermatitis + interdigital dermatitis
- Verrucose dermatitis + interdigital hyperplasia
- Double sole + White line separation
- Cork screw claw
The Hoof Health index is a better tool to breed for mobile cows than feet and legs conformation.
What is lameness costing you?
If your goal is to have healthy, high-producing and invisible cows that stay in the herd for several years, hoof health is an important issue that you can’t ignore.
There are many factors that have an impact on hoof health and the prevention of hoof disorders. Hoof trimming is a common management practice among dairy farmers for curing and preventing hoof diseases.
The environment also has a high influence on hoof health. Of course, management, for example, nutrition and feeding management and various preventive measures (e.g. foot baths, calcium hydroxide) have a high impact on hoof quality.
However, genetics also play a key role in dealing with hoof disorders.