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maryjane Posted - Jun 06 2017 : 3:33:57 PM
As promised, here are a few videos showing our process for hoof trimming.

25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
NellieBelle Posted - Jun 19 2017 : 7:02:48 PM
For sure, all great news, now if I could just get myself not to fret and stew and worry before I get to the intended goal. Whew!
maryjane Posted - Jun 19 2017 : 6:45:33 PM
Fantastic news, Janet! Now you know what you're up against going forward. And you have a vet who is willing to work with you. AND trade for dairy. All around best of the best.
NellieBelle Posted - Jun 19 2017 : 11:54:29 AM
Thanks Darla. Yes, a relief. He (vet), was so good and patient. I really thought Sienna would send us to the moon, but she just ate her feed and chaffhaye and acted blasé. Yes, it is quite uncomfortable here too. Heat with very little breeze. I would welcome a little shower just to cool things off. I have some fabric that needs cutting and a baby quilt put together so may work on that. Enjoy your afternoon.
Boots&Flipflops Posted - Jun 19 2017 : 11:38:53 AM
Oh My Goodness!! YAY!! Janet I hope you have taken a big deep breath and a sigh of relief. So glad you were able to get the job done with someone that you are comfortable with. Him having said they weren't that bad will give you a mental scale on what is bad and what is not.

Sorry it is warm there. It is absolutely unfit here at the time. That's why I am on here reading instead of outside. Got some laundry done early and that will be about it until feeding time.

Enjoy the rest of your day with a Smile of Relief:)
NellieBelle Posted - Jun 19 2017 : 11:19:47 AM
Well that's done. Not a salon job but the hooves are trimmed on both girls. Nipped one of Siennas back hooves a little short, treated and I will watch it, but I don't think it's going to cause a problem. I called Joe home from work when the vet said he was on his way. He brought his chute and tools. When he arrived I had him come look at our set up in the barn to see if this would work for him and he thought it would, so that's where we did it. He showed Joe and I what he wanted us to do and everything worked out fine. There was no kicking or fussing at all. We placed the cows in the middle stanchion so we could work from both sides. I held up the front forefoot after he showed me how to stand. I wouldn't be able to do it too long at a time but long enough. I am sooooo relieved this is done. He didn't feel the hooves were all that bad. So now I perhaps can hone my skills for the next time. Hot 80 degrees and I'm going to chill a while. Part of the payment was some of my homemade cheese.
NellieBelle Posted - Jun 16 2017 : 07:30:18 AM
Well, it's much appreciated and you are not alone. Joe got a hold of the vet that we asked to do the hoof trimming, and he has been swamped but still plans on doing the job. He is the vet that we get the organic hay from. Not our routine animal vet but another good one. He plans for next week, so we will see. I have tools here if he needs them, and we will have them for future use once we figure out what we will be doing for hoof trimming in the future. I thank everyone for all the help and suggestions. This is a great HJO family!
maryjane Posted - Jun 16 2017 : 06:25:21 AM
It'll all work out. Just have to find what fits you, Janet. You are most welcome! I can ponder and worry with the best of them:)
NellieBelle Posted - Jun 14 2017 : 2:51:56 PM
Oh MaryJane, you didn't have to do that. I know they do hoof training and trimming at the Iowa University Vet School, but I won't put my cows or myself through that kind of stress. Thank you so much for looking into it, but that's not a route for me. My cows stay on the place unless there would be a real life and death issue. All work and vet care is done here. I don't discourage easily. Don't want to prove anyone wrong, but hauling my gals in a trailer 2 hours away, into strange surroundings and procedures is not an option. There is an answer and solution but just have to figure it out. I'm sure we will get this one mastered if we don't rush into anything and research it out. I will find someone or we will have a new learning experience. (good or bad) Thank you, thank you MaryJane, you are so thoughtful and I appreciate your help.
maryjane Posted - Jun 14 2017 : 2:17:14 PM
I do believe I've looked at every squeeze and upright trim chute available (and watched way too many videos). I wish I'd known about a Preifert squeeze chute before I bought my Behlen years ago. The hoof trim chute I bought (that needed to be completely remade) was this one with a floor:

Janet, I've been giving this a lot of thought. I hate to discourage you but if I were you I'd drive my girls to Iowa University Vet School. They have a tilt table there and are perfectly willing and capable of doing all three of your girls, one after another. In fact, they specialize in teaching hoof trimming for those wanting to enter the trade. I called them just now to get a feel for who they are and what they offer. The woman I talked to was super friendly and said that right now they're about 2 weeks out but not a problem to schedule my three cows (I asked anonymously as if it were me). Their number is 515-294-1500. Rent a trailer? Buy a trailer? Borrow one? Hire a trucker? She said it was only an hour to an hour and a half drive. (I googled it and think it's more like 2 hours.) It takes me an hour to get to WSU which is where I'm taking M'lady and Anna when their time comes (I would take all my girls there but some are too small). The problem with the at-home chisel on a board idea is I've found that sculpting the pad is the most important part of a proper trim. Taking something off the toes is only a tiny portion of what a proper hoof trim entails.

Once I back my trailer up to the dock as WSU, they can unload even the most unruly cows, bulls, you name it. It's what they do. Your cows goes through a series of gates until they have them where they want them. No need for a halter because I've never had my bulls on a halter.

Also, they will thoroughly disinfect the tilt table so you don't have to worry about disease. Traveling hoof trimmers don't always do that (although you can ask about that beforehand and find out). I could be totally wrong, but I can't imagine all three of your girls are going to be agreeable to a hoof trim at home. In particular they hate having their back feet lifted. Perhaps you could put each one of them in a headlock and see how well they like having their feet lifted. Maybe your girls are like the big ole Holsteins so often featured in the upright hoof trim chute videos. They make it look so easy!

I've had a traveling hoof trimmer come by. I've used the tilt table at both WSU and Lewiston Vet Clinic. I've had a farrier come. I've used my squeeze chute and ropes. I've done casting (and still do for Miss Daisy). I've tried doing it in the milking parlor. I bought an expensive hoof trimming chute. Given your girls are a normal size, and based on my experience, I'm suggesting Iowa Vet School as the best thing for you and Joe. That said, I'd love it if you proved me wrong:)
NellieBelle Posted - Jun 14 2017 : 1:41:23 PM
Yes, thank you. Helpful. I think a tilt table may be fine if you were quick at trimming hooves, but at the rate I would go the cow would probably have to be tilted too long. I like the looks of the Tuffy tilt tables with hydraulic leg restraints, but don't want to have to sell the farm to purchase one. I'll keep researching and see what is feasible for two old timers trying to keep hooves in check. Too bad they (bovine) don't bite their nails/hooves. :/
maryjane Posted - Jun 14 2017 : 1:08:49 PM
Here's a discussion about upright vs. tilt.

NellieBelle Posted - Jun 14 2017 : 12:31:02 PM
MaryJane is there a different chute that you think may work better than the Comfort Hoof Chute?
maryjane Posted - Jun 14 2017 : 12:08:42 PM
Yes, I think call them. Keep in mind what I pointed out earlier--unless they've customized the entire chute, it's just a waste of everyone's time and money not to mention the first time you put a cow in there, she's likely to kill herself. We scared ourselves silly for a while as we learned how to customize the one I bought based on drama and trauma.
NellieBelle Posted - Jun 14 2017 : 11:59:15 AM
Thanks MaryJane. So the Merlin disks will work on the Bovine Electric Hoof Knife? I watched the videos for The Comfort Hoof Chutes, the manual looks like it could wear a persons arms and shoulders. The Electric may be the way to go, but if a person only does it a time or two a year then it might not be too much. I will probably call and talk to them when I get more than a few minutes at a time.
maryjane Posted - Jun 14 2017 : 11:21:17 AM
Here are the disks I use with mine:

Thanks Darla for the details on the calming rope. I can't wait to try it! I asked Buck if his Stableizer would work on cows and here's what he said:

The Stableizer will not work on cattle, because there is no room under their top lip to keep it in place, believe me I have tried. Even though the pressure points are the same!!
NellieBelle Posted - Jun 14 2017 : 10:50:21 AM
Hello Darla. From what MaryJane and you are saying I had better pick up a couple of the sanding/filing discs. Yes, I can't imagine my cow gals are going to like the sound or the vibration but something I'm sure they will adjust to in time after use. (hoping that's the case anyway). Thank you again for the information and help. I will have to find a different way of keeping them quiet and calm as I don't use a halter. Thanks again ladies. I'm sure we will get through this.
Boots&Flipflops Posted - Jun 14 2017 : 10:14:24 AM
Hi Janet, it's been a busy morning already. As for the electric trimmer, I have the sanding/filing disks with mine, as the sheep hooves are smaller and I don't need the chainsaw blade. I have both the blue and gold disks. One is medium and the other course. It works so slick, but is nothing more than a small angle grinder really. I have a pair of thick gloves that are like welding gloves that I wear. They just aren't as long up the arm. Just take it slow and you will do fine. When I start out, I turn the unit on, as it is noisy, and just hold it so the animal gets used to the sound. Then I hold the "grinder" I rest my elbow on their back so they can feel the vibration and get used to the feel. You'll get the hang of it and really like it once you get past the jitters! Just make sure you and Joe wear the gloves and eye protection of some sort, as "stuff" will fly. Remember not to work in one spot too long as it causes friction and will get hot in that area. (that was not meant to scare you, just a fact)

The lip rope I use is just small cotton rope with a ring tied on one end. Run it through the cheek rings on your halter, under her lip and over the ears. Then bring the end through the ring. You want to just apply slow firm pressure until the endorphin's kick in and she calms down. Then you can release it a bit, and if she gets edgy just apply pressure again. Not meant to cause pain at all. I works so great on horses. Mary Jane stated above that one of her cows does this on her own:) Hope it works. The Stabilizer is way more complex the what I use.

Take a good calming breath and baby steps with the grinder and I think you will really love the way it works.
NellieBelle Posted - Jun 14 2017 : 08:49:59 AM
I hate to admit it but I'm a bit intimidated by the electric trimmer. I think it's a fantastic piece of equipment but I'm not prepared to use it until I've acquired some practice or skill in it's use. I will probably use the hoof knife, and hoof nipper. I didn't get a sandpaper disk with mine, just the saw type head. Do you think I should order the sanding disk? It would be like a file if I understand it correctly. I have to go look at the stabilizer, I haven't had a chance. Making cheese every morning cuts into a good share of the day. Nellie is still putting out 7.5-8 gallons a day. This morning alone she had 5 gallons of milk. Joe and I praise her over and over. Where it's just Joe and I handling our cows for trimming I believe we will have to see about some sort of hoof trimming chute for safety sake.
maryjane Posted - Jun 14 2017 : 06:15:14 AM
Janet, I wouldn't start out using the chain saw type head on the hoof trimmer. Did you get a sandpaper type disk with yours?

I've wondered about the stabilizer, Darla. And your tip with the nose rope makes sense. I'll have to try that. I have a cow who calms herself by putting her nose on something and holding it there. It's her happy place.
NellieBelle Posted - Jun 13 2017 : 12:42:24 PM
Thank you Darla. Excellent information. I appreciate your posting the link. It's not that I don't want to do the work, I just don't want to do anything that may injure or do something to make things worse. So this really helps. Most of my tools arrived yesterday and I haven't had a chance to try the electric hoof trimmer out yet on a board. I will probably do as minimal trimming at a time to see how things are shaping up. My girls are pretty good to work with, however when it comes time to lift a hoof it may be a different story. I mainly want to get through this without the cow or us getting injured. Thanks again!
Boots&Flipflops Posted - Jun 13 2017 : 11:54:29 AM
Janet, I am so bummed we can't all load up and come help you. We are dairy farm thick around here, and I am constantly passing cow trimming rigs on the road.

To calm horses with out meds, there is a trick to running a thin cotton rope under their upper lip over their ears, and back around. It is just soft pressure to calm them as it releases endorphin's, and they just go "okay". Worked great on my horse who was edgy when I hired a new farrier. On the Udderly EZ website look up The Stabilizer. You'll see what I'm referring to. This one is more involved than my simple rope with a ring that we loop around. I don't know if this will work on cows the same way or not. Will do more research and push come to shove will make a call to my vet.

I ran across this tutorial. Please look at it as it has great information on trimming Dairy cows, great pictures of before, during and after, and some good feedback as well.

Hope this helps you or anyone on HJO that needs to see some good hoof trimming advise.
NellieBelle Posted - Jun 13 2017 : 09:35:39 AM
Thanks MaryJane. Just one of those things I guess.
maryjane Posted - Jun 13 2017 : 08:55:51 AM
Good luck Janet. Wish I were closer and could help you out.
NellieBelle Posted - Jun 13 2017 : 06:36:33 AM
Thank you for the suggestion. Yes, we have one in town, but the last time we asked him he didn't have time as he has many, many horses to care for that he houses and owns. If I don't here back from the vet this week, Joe and I will be trimming their hooves to the best of our ability. I don't want to do it, but it's a matter of necessity.
Boots&Flipflops Posted - Jun 12 2017 : 3:07:55 PM
Janet, Are there any horse farrier's by you? My horse farrier will trim hooves on any "well behaved" animal. He said he has done some cows that are calmer than some folks horses. Just a thought:)