Foot trimming cattle to prevent and treat lameness

Regularly checking cows’ feet and foot trimming forms an essential part of any lameness control plan.

Hoof horn wear and growth is a delicate balance; if growth exceeds wear and the horn becomes too overgrown, this can cause problems with weight distribution and the formation of pressure points, leading to non-infectious lesions and, ultimately, lameness.

Can lameness be prevented?

Regularly checking your cows’ feet and monitoring horn conformation will allow you to properly manage horn growth and prevent lameness. Many non-infectious causes of lameness are treated using a combination of foot trimming and blocking, so it is important to know how to manage this.

When to trim and what to avoid

Timely foot trimming is an important part of preventing and treating lameness. Find out when to foot trim and how to avoid common pitfalls.

Foot trimming: when to trim and what to avoid

Five-step Dutch method

From measuring and trimming the first claw to removing loose horn, this step-by-step guide on cattle foot trimming will help you to keep lameness at bay.

Follow the five-step Dutch method

Knife know-how: what's in your tool kit?

Purchasing the right knives and maintaining them properly will keep you safer and make your job easier when trimming cattle feet. Make sure you’ve got all the essential items in your kit to care for your cows’ feet and prevent lameness in your herd.

Cattle foot care: what’s in your tool kit?

How to lift a cow's foot

From preparing the workspace to safety measures, here are some helpful ideas to make lifting your cow’s foot easier.

Find out how to lift a foot

Equipment disinfection

Infectious diseases can be spread from foot to foot and between animals, so it is important to prevent this by properly disinfecting equipment.

Cattle foot trimming: equipment disinfection

Useful links

Healthy Feet Programme

Hoof care field guide