Cattle hoof trimming is always stressful and it’s never an easy day’s work. It’s stressful on you, stressful on the hoof trimmer and stressful on the cows. But even the smallest changes can make the day a bit less overwhelming and will help the day go faster with less down-time. Reduce your stress on cattle hoof trimming day and increase your hoof trimmer’s efficiency with these great tips:
1. Location – Ask your cattle hoof trimming professional where and how they prefer to work.
- Consider indoors v. outdoors, access to power plugs and work space, including room to move freely and space for tools.
- Take into consideration the lighting.
- Be sure to have adequate ventilation.
- Ensure cows will move in and out of the trimming area safely and that the traffic will flow smoothly.
- Ask your cattle hoof trimming professional if the set up is working or if something needs to be changed.
2. Cattle Sorting & Collection – Have your cows sorted ahead of time and a group waiting prior to cattle hoof trimming.
- Having the cattle ready will get the trimmer in and out more quickly and reduces downtime.
- Have a gate system set up (or a pen) so that there is a holding area for cows about to undergo cattle hoof trimming.
- Keep things as normal as possible for the cows. Don’t have too big of a group where the animals are standing without food and water for hours on end.
3. Assistance – Always have enough assistance so that the trimmer never has to step away from the trimming area.
- Schedule enough staff to help sort, group and move cattle back and forth, so the cattle hoof trimming professional can get right to work.
- Make sure that anyone involved in the process remains calm, yelling and other hostility is not acceptable.
4. Safety – Keep your cattle hoof trimming expert and staff informed of cows that are unruly or get extra nervous when handled by humans.
- These cows need to be identified either by having a caution list with cow numbers or by marking them.
- If there is a bull present, there needs to be extra precautions taken to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Extra gates, staff and restraint will always be worth it.
5. Flooring & Barn Designs – Flooring should always give traction for animals both before and after cattle hoof trimming.
- Put down some kind of coarse material (such as lime or shavings) to help increase traction.
- When planning a new barn or freestall, ask for your hoof trimmer’s input. Their simple tips might help you save time in the future.