let's talk farm animals

Twinkle toes - pedicures for cows

by Kim Waalderbos

Our cows are walking with some extra bounce in their step. They’ve all just been given a cow-sized pedicure by our hoof trimmer Peter.

Peter comes to our farm two-to-three times each year to help care for our cows’ feet. It’s an important job because we want all them to be walking comfortably, so we dedicate a whole day each visit to trimming and shaping.

Hoof trimming is a regular and important part of cow care. Here the hoof trimmer uses a special tool to even up the bottom and tips of the cow’s foot.

When it’s her turn, each cow is loaded gently into the hoof trimming stall. Peter has a setup that allows each cow to lie down comfortably while he’s working.First he looks over each foot to check for any issues with sore spots or infection – that might need extra attention, maybe even a bandage or special wooden shoe to take the weight off a sore spot temporarily. Then he uses some clipper-like tools to trim the toe length, and knife-like tools to shape and file the foot.

The process is much like we trim and file our own finger nails – no pain involved. The cows are comfortable while Peter tends to their hooves, many even chew their cud while he works. In the case of our cow pedicures though, we don’t bother with any colourful nail polish!


Posted by Farm and Food Care on May 29th, 2013 :: Filed under Animal care,animal handling,Animal health,Dairy cattle
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