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 Clover's First Hoof Trim

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CloversMum Posted - Aug 26 2014 : 9:22:34 PM
My sweet Clover had her first hoof trim this weekend. MaryJane invited Clover over to her farm to join her cows who were also getting their hooves trimmed. I was nervous wondering how Clover would react...we are still working with her to walk gently with a lead rope and being tied up. Clover did very well considering this was her very first time! And, MaryJane was so kind and it was a delightful morning for my family and Clover.

Here's Clover as she entered the hoof trimming contraption...its actually really amazing!

After she walked in, then her head gets locked in...lots of encouragement given.

MaryJane suggested that we cover Clover's eyes as she was tipped on her side and while her hooves were trimmed. This helped to calm Clover. My son and Clover are a great team! Clover really listens to him and was very calm. After I put down the camera, I was able to scratch Clover behind her ears and whisper sweet nothings to her.

Hooves all done! Thank you, MaryJane, for your kindness this morning!

17   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
CloversMum Posted - Nov 15 2014 : 5:09:29 PM
That looks like a very nice piece of equipment...I assume it plays soft music for the cows, as well? lol But, seriously, it looks like it would be less stress on the cow and the trimmer than the usual methods.
Ron Posted - Nov 15 2014 : 4:12:17 PM
Yeah James, seems like they always do. Just one of them jobs that seems intimidating, at least to me anyway.
Jersey James Posted - Nov 15 2014 : 4:06:50 PM
Impressive MJ. Ron, thanks for the 411. Lucy needs work!
Ron Posted - Nov 15 2014 : 08:15:59 AM
Not to mention if you like it the units could be added to the one stop shop! Cow, milk equipment, hoof trimming equip. Etc?...
Ron Posted - Nov 15 2014 : 08:13:42 AM
No kidding. You don't mind pouring the cash into something if you get the mileage out of it. I assume you asked for a demo unit maybe. Or a national sales rep bring one out and do a demo for you? After all from a sales standpoint I would be loading one up and dragging it cross country to demo it if I were working for that firm. You as a happy customer could boost sales!
maryjane Posted - Nov 15 2014 : 07:56:12 AM
They've told me that with some tweaking it can work for my miniature cows, but I need to know exactly what tweaking means. Also, the trailer would be nice for hauling it down to my bulls or to a neighbor's house like you say. But I'm concerning about its stoutness for trimming my bulls. Research, research, research. Ask, ask, ask!
Ron Posted - Nov 15 2014 : 07:31:23 AM
Really not to bad if you consider it as a life time investment. That has been one of my biggest main issues the ability to handle animals with low stress on them and me. Would be nice to be in an area where several farmers of like mind could pool resources and by equipment and share when needed. Guess it wouldn't take much to clean equipment between uses and the next person could use it.

I know Harriet needs some real good hoof care. They never trim at the dairy and when She was pregnant She started to limp. Had to work on Her front hooves while She was laying down. Not fun. Such a patient and gentle cow for Her size. She could toss me like a rag if She decided too.
maryjane Posted - Nov 15 2014 : 07:10:26 AM
About $6,000. I remember thinking I'd be set for life when I bought my squeeze chute and secured it using concrete and stout metal posts. And here I am again thinking specialty squeeze chute. Honestly, I think I've been hoping one would fall from the sky any day now.
Ron Posted - Nov 15 2014 : 06:52:27 AM
Very nice equipment. Did they ever give you any ballpark costs on the equipment?
maryjane Posted - Nov 15 2014 : 06:05:01 AM
I've been talking to these folks (who have been very helpful) about a lesser version of this:

I've found others that are similar but they tend to be manufactured in other countries--expensive shipping!!!

I also think a person could create a frame and attach some cranks, etc. Still pondering that idea and asking around!
CloversMum Posted - Nov 14 2014 : 9:36:16 PM
MaryJane, I am interested in the restraining device that is used in the youtube video that you posted. Seems like it would keep the cow upright (less stress), hold a hoof so only one person is needed, and the person trimming is safe as well.
maryjane Posted - Nov 14 2014 : 8:19:14 PM
How about this video where he goes more into the art of cattle "podiatry"?

The reason I started thinking more along these lines is because of Miss Daisy's back bowed leg (club foot) that was getting worse with every trim. I mentioned it a couple of times to the folks at WSU and even sent them photos of her leg bone that was bending beneath her weight.

Then one day, I really just looked at it and thought that if the inside half was trimmed shorter, she'd begin to put her weight more on the inside half, etc. so I scheduled an appt. for a "special" trim and discussed it with Dr. Barrington at WSU ahead of time. He "got" what I was saying so he took her back and sculpted her hoof thoughtfully rather than just taking the same amount off all her hooves with a grinder.

The next day when I milked her, she was a 1/2 inch taller. I kid you not. The claw of the machine used to rest on the lip of a tray that I use to keep things clean and after her trim it swung 1/2 inch above it. It took about 2 to 3 weeks for her leg bone itself to straighten up and now it's perfectly normal. I'd even discussed a cast or brace for her leg I was so worried about how bent it was getting. And to think that all along it had to do with the "science" of a trim.

Fortified with my new resolve to learn how to do it myself and do it more routinely, I purchased hand tools and brought Etta Jane into my squeeze chute like they do at WSU but she fought it and at one point fell down on her front knees. I was afraid she was going to break a leg. I know I didn't enjoy it either so now I'm researching different kinds of restraining devices that put two of their legs (opposing front and back) in the air at the same time using a belly band so they can't fight it so much. Or if the weather is good, I could use the "take-down" method found on page 316 of my book. The only problem with that method is you need another person to help you and it's a fair weather method. I'd like to be trimming my herd rotationally in the same way I brush them routinely--a bit of a nip and snip more routinely.

So I'm thinking long-term cultivation and shaping of the hoof instead of grinding X amount off each time. And since nobody knows or watches my animals as much as I do, I might have a better eye than someone whose job it is to merely trim cattle hooves.
chives Posted - Nov 14 2014 : 7:05:19 PM
I would like to know also. Annabelle has to learn. I thought maybe using a rasp a do a little at a time.
Ron Posted - Nov 14 2014 : 7:04:00 PM
A picture is worth a thousand words.
CloversMum Posted - Nov 14 2014 : 5:35:18 PM
What tools do you use, Ron? Even the vets at WSU were commenting that they just do the best they can...I thought they did just fine, but I think I could learn to do as would be nice to save the money and I could certainly do it more often that way...
Ron Posted - Nov 14 2014 : 5:22:07 PM
We don't have a choice down here. My trimming is nothing that professional at all. I have to catch Harriet laying dout and get in there with the tools and clean the hoof and then try to file or peel away some hoof. Don't always get them like I would like and usually only get two at a time if you are lucky.
CloversMum Posted - Nov 14 2014 : 4:44:07 PM

Today I took Clover over to the WSU vet for some routine blood work & tests. While we were there, I asked to have her hooves trimmed as well. Her front toes were looking quite long. To be honest, I really want to figure out how to do this myself. I trim my goats' hooves. But I definitely have to have the right set up so everyone (including Clover) could be safe and as comfortable as possible. The set up at WSU was not ideal as Clover is too small to use the tilt table; but, I think this actually was less stressful on her. It just made the angle weird for the vet to grind. Clover did not like the grinder...I think it tickled her hooves! But she has super hard hooves so using a rasp would take forever.

I know that MaryJane is working on some ideas for her own cows. Do any of the rest of you trim your own cow's hooves?