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Lameness in cows is a complex issue that you can manage with good record-keeping, identification of risk factors, and creating a customised prevention plan. This page details how to calculate lameness costs, use the Healthy Hoof app for recording incidences, and construct an effective lameness prevention plan. Remember, every farm is unique, so your prevention plan should be specific to your farm's risk factors. The page also recommends seeking external help, like the Healthy Hoof Programme, which offers information and training on lameness prevention and management.
The key to preventing lameness on farm is good record keeping, identifying risk factors and developing a lameness prevention plan that is monitored and reviewed.
By keeping good records you can begin to understand lameness on your farm e.g. types and seasonal pattern. This is helpful when you or your advisor are figuring out what the risk factors are on your farm.
Cows become lame when a combination of risk factors occur. It is the interaction of the cow, her environment and management that leads to lameness on farm.
Find out how your management can affect change within the hoof and prevent your first calvers from having a lifetime of lameness issues.
The risk factors for lameness are multifactorial and will vary from farm to farm. Work with your advisor to develop a lameness prevention plan specific for your farm and associated risk factors.
The plan should include identification of risk factors and how these will be managed/mitigated, along with processes for record keeping, early identification and effective treatment The plan should be monitored at least annually and updated as required.
Early identification and effective treatment of lameness will form part of this plan.
Lameness is a complex problem and using external help and support is recommended. The Healthy Hoof Programme focuses on prevention of lameness with information and training on management and treatment. Find out more about Healthy Hoof here.