For herd owner
Why to take care of claws?
If the claws are damaged, sick and overgrown, cows eat less and give less milk. They are reluctant to rise up and hence arises a greater likelihood of developing mastitis. During the winter period, while cows are in cattle shed, claws grows faster, but so that cows walk little, claws wears very minimal. Therefore, in winter period claws should be trimmed more frequently. If the cattle shed floor covering and manure belt is dry and clean, the number of claw disease infection is reduced considerably. Humidity provides the good environment for bacteria. If the claws tend to absorb more water, containing ammonia and sulfur hydrogen, weakens the strength of claws corneous and this leads to inflammation between the claw and rot of the crown. Claw trimming is very important in cattle shed, where is a deep layer of litter, because in those cattle shed living cows claws wears very little, the soles may be 4-5 times higher than normal.
For pregnant cows the product of claws corneous is worse, because cows are exposed to strong feed change. Calving traumatize claws corneous substance much more: soles cracked and occurs laminitis. New heifers are especially vulnerable to claws disorders. Laminitis and sole disintegration can occur in the first weeks after calving. Therefore, the claws must be trimmed before the calf is born or as soon after birth. Many cows are downgraded and even eliminated due to claws and foot illnesses, which are mostly obtained in the first lactation period. If in the milk increases count of somatic cell and observe sharp decline in milk yield and the cow is seemingly healthy, then the defect lies in claws diseases.
Claws trimming must be done in specifically provided claw trimming boxing (illustration), where animals are placed friendly and safe. The leg is fixed so, that the specialist can focus on claw inquiry and trimming. Also, pregnant heifers and cows may be placed in boxing without the risk of abortion. Claw trimming is responsible work, which may be performed only by trained nail cutters, with the necessary working knowledge and experience. Often the claw diseases are found with delay, too late, because the signs can be very weak. Therefore it is important to carry out preventive inspections, because specialist, surveying the herd, will notice the symptoms.