The programme is a simple, stepwise approach to managing lameness on dairy farms caused by physical factors. It consists of five key steps that each farm takes with the support of a trained programme provider.
Based on the work of New Zealand's own world renowned lameness specialist, Neil Chesterton, Healthy Hoof has been developed in consultation with vets as well as local and international lameness experts.
Participating farmers tell us the programme's benefits reach further than cost savings from reduced lameness. They also value improved staff performance due to the education and training provided. The clear actions agreed in conjunction with a trained specialist give them more confidence to act and address their lameness problem.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How long do I have to keep going with the programme?
When you join the programme you are not bound to stick with it for any specific time period. We recommend that you complete at least one full season on the programme before you reassess its value. Do realise the second and subsequent years of the programme may vary from the first if there are few staff and/or system changes.
Can I just get the resources without having to pay someone to come on farm?
No. The resources are supporting material for the whole programme only. Alone the resources do not provide the necessary components to make a substantial difference on farm. Case study farmers have told us that the true value of the programme is in the education, training and timesavings gained by working together with the trained Healthy Hoof Provider. The trained specialist gave them more confidence to act and address their lameness problem.
What kind of improvement can I expect?
Since no two farms or farm teams are the same it is impossible to say what improvement you will get, however the return you get will depend on the amount of effort you are willing to put into the programme. All the Case Study farmers involved in the programme have seen a reduction in lameness.
This information sounds the same, what is different about this programme?
Despite the fact that many dairy farmers have an understanding of the physical factors that cause lameness they are still not being addressed on farms. This programmes provides the personalised support and on farm reminders to ensure that your farm team remains focused on lameness and implements the changes in behaviour required to make a difference.
How much will it cost?
The cost for the provider's services is dependent on the hours spent on farm. For most farms the provider's cost is estimated between $1,500 and $2,500 +GST for a season. The toolkit resources are provided free upon joining. For the cost of one lame cow you can pay for the Healthy Hoof Programme for an entire season.
What do I do if my vet is not a Healthy Hoof Provider do I have to change vets?
No. If your vet is not a Healthy Hoof provider you have two options.
- Select a HHP provider from the list of providers available. This provider will work with you on the Healthy Hoof Programme only and will inform your existing vet that they are doing so.
- Ask your existing vet to become a trained provider, although this may take some time.