Healthy Feet = Happy cows!
Lameness remains a major problem in the UK dairy herd with an average case costing approximately £180 (DairyCo, 2011). It has become a hot topic due to the impact it has on the consumer’s image of the dairy industry and this is increasingly reflected in the milk buyer’s attitudes to lameness on farm. With mobility scoring now a requirement of many contracts some producers will be required to score their herd every 3 months and record these details.
How can we help?
Depending on what works best for you, we can; undertake all of your mobility scoring for you, provide training for you to do the scoring yourself or a combination of the two. We are also best placed to offer advice based on the outcome of your scoring.
On the back of mobility scoring comes the DairyCo Healthy Feet Programme which is designed to help dairy farmers reduce levels of lameness on farm through improved management of cows and people. It follows a step by step approach to help you devise a ‘lameness map’ – a simple visual representation of the relative incidences of the most common lesions causing lameness. An on-farm risk assessment will then be carried out by a mobility mentor, with solutions being discussed and an action plan agreed upon.
An action plan in itself will not reduce lameness. Quarterly mobility scoring will be required to measure progress and the information from this can then be used to update the farm’s lameness map. Regular on-farm review with the mobility mentor will ensure the action plan remains appropriate and monitor implementation.
Roel is our DairyCo mobility mentor and has a special interest in lameness and corrective foot trimming. He completed the Dutch Foot Trimming Course in his final year of University. Throughout the year Roel runs foot trimming courses for beginners and refresher courses. He also runs one-to-one training programmes. These are held on your farm with your cows and are a very good way of gaining confidence and experience in a time efficient way.
Please contact the practice for further information.