Bovine hoof care

Cattle claws diseases could threaten the business

Only about ten per cent of Latvian cattle herds are safe of cattle claws diseases, but for an equal number of herds those diseases, are a serious threat to business, judge experts.

World, because of, for example, foot, including claw diseases, reject as defective 20% - 30% of the total number of milking cows: " In Latvia significant claw infections occurred after the animals in large quantities began importing from Western countries for livestock production lifting. Experience has shown - the worst breeding material are imported from Germany. Claws diseases in herds occur mainly two to three months after the import of animals. The most widespread are digital dermatitis or the so-called "Strawberry Disease"," explains The Latvian Rural Consulting and Education Centre expert Dainis Arbidāns.

Limited knowledge "CowCare" Ltd. manage claw treatment and sells a variety of claw treatment products in Latvia. Company representative Hen Mekking confirmed - in Latvia majority of cattle farms has claw diseases. If they do not fight against it with preventive measures or not treated at an early stage, the animal could not get to the food-sharing site, in result reduce yield and at the end possible even the animal's rejection. Both he and the Dainis Arbidāns invite animal claws processed at least twice a year.

"The most of the Latvian hosts are still far behind Western colleagues in understanding of the claw diseases prevention and treatment. Moving to the right direction is - but slowly,"- point out Hen Mekking, who is graduated the Agricultural University in the Netherlands. His company provides claw-processing services in Latvia about a year.

Latvian expert D. Arbidāns says, that still in the most of the farms dominate stereotype - cow will give milk even if we will give just hay and a handful of flour. He explains-many of the owners and their employees do not value claw diseases prevention, which later create the large monetary expenses. For example, fee for the sick cow's claw care can reach even 50 LVL. "In Latvia many of the owners still livestock considered as hobby. If in farm there are up to ten cows, then it is a very expensive hobby. One family may employ two staff and normally to live only, if the herd is at least 50 cows big, "- say D. Arbidāns. He explains - also in the countries, where claw diseases is a big problem, diseases extension would be much less, if:

  • owners implement beef and dairy cow breeding cycle, starting from calves;
  • portion of nourishment would be appropriate compiled for each animal, first grouping them;
  • owners use high quality feed;
  • Skilled professionals at least twice a year manage claw preventive maintenance.

It is important to strengthen the immune system Līga Ničiporuka, who is agricultural adviser in the Aizkraukle District, says- that for strengthening the immune system, without proper nutrition, there is also a need for welfare requirement observation. In experts opinion - highly sensitive is black and white breed cows. Holstein breed cows have been established only for milk production. Compared to the Latvian Brown breed, they are more susceptible to diseases, including against claw diseases. "If farmer want to milk every year nine- ten tons of milk per cow, then he must to take into consideration that," says H. MekkingSi.

Owners: claws can be strengthened

In Latvia known rural district Ķoņi farm "Pērļi" hostess Dace Pastare says, "For many years in farm cows claws groomed once a year but then concluded - necessary to carry out this procedure twice a year."For claw easiest treatment we have bought a loom. This work for our approximately 90 cow large herd, carry out team of professionals. If same cow limp, then we call veterinarian, he find defect and take responsibility. Together with the owner we came to the conclusion that claw health improves feed additive biotin. Dose is about five kilograms per ton of feed. In large quantities "Strawberry Disease" our farm did not affected, many years ago was a case of sickness. True, heifers from Germany we did not imported. The last time it happened in a year of 1998, when the animals we imported form the Netherlands"- says D.Pastare.

Owners of small farms claw care often do by themselves. Pēteris Jauja, the owner of the farm "Kalna Jauja" from the Rožupes Parish says, that the veterinarians on the farm, where the herd is only eight cattle big, did not want to go: "once a year with special claw scissors we claws maintaining by ourselves. Sometimes happens when, after stepping on a stone claw crack and the animal begins to limp. Then the cracked claw we turn of with the knife. So far in our herd we did not meet with claw diseases."