Research from DairyCo shows that lameness can be successfully reduced by up to 70% through effective footbathing. It can be assumed that with the average UK milk output per cow and average herd size having increased by approximately 20% and 30% respectively in the last 10 years alone, lameness levels and stress on cows feet will also rise (Dairy Co Datum 2014).
The role of the veterinarian in reducing lameness levels has been discussed at recent conferences such as at the Cattle Lameness Conference 2015 and International Lameness Conference 2013, in Bristol. It has been suggested that not only has the size and shape of farms altered but so have the roles and responsibilities of farm owners, workers as well as vets and other contractors (Alcock, 2015). Read more
The Provita stand at this year’s Sheep NI event was a focal point for discussion regarding a wide range of sheep management issues.
“It was tremendous to have so many flockowners coming up and discussing many management related issues which are of key interest to them at the present time,” confirmed Provita’s Tommy Armstrong.
“It was obvious that keeping hoof condition right remains a priority for sheep producers throughout Northern Ireland.
Tommy pointed out that Hoofsure Endurance, the unique footbath solution from Provita, is finding favour with leading sheep producers throughout Northern Ireland. Read more
The combined approach of foot bathing after every milking and the inclusion of Provita’s Hoofsure Endurance in the foot bathing solution has allowed Ballymoney dairy farmer Brian Knipe and his father Alfie to reduce the levels of lameness within his 100 strong cow dairy herd by almost 50%.” Read more
Research in America has found that copper has reached toxic levels in soils due to copper sulphate being used in footbaths. It was reported at the recent International Lameness Conference that fields which have gone toxic can no longer grow alfalfa. Read more
DairyCo research has shown that 35 cows out of 100 will have lameness problems if footbathing is not carried out. “This is a median figure,” added Provita’s Tommy Armstrong.
“In comparison, figures drop down to 20 cows out of 100 on farms footbathing during housing. Even better results are achieved on farms that are footbathing all year round, with the figure dropping down to 10 cows per 100. This represents a 70% reduction in the overall scale of the problem, one that is costing the dairy sector millions of pounds in terms of lost production.” Read more
Provita will be at next week’s Clogher Show, taking place on Wednesday July 31st. “We will be located adjacent to the sheep rings,” confirmed Provita’s Tommy Armstrong. “And we look forward to making contact with farmers throughout the day.” Read more
Leading veterinarian Roger Blowey spoke at Provita/Pfizer Animal Health-hosted farmers’ meetings in Coleraine and Portadown. This was followed on with meetings in Clonmel and Cork. Courtesy of his presentations, Roger highlighted the growing challenge of hoof related problems on dairy farms and the ways by which farmers can get on top of this issue.
Steven Robinson milks 125 Holstein Friesian cows at Longber Farm, near Lancaster. Until recently, he had been foot bathing the cows using a mix of Copper Sulphate and Formalin. However, ten months ago, after consulting with his local farm merchant, Steven decided to change to Provita Hoofsure Endurance. Since then he has been walking the dairy cows through the footbath every milking and walking the dry cows through three to four times a week will dramatic effect.
“The best money I’ve spent to improve cow health,” was Steven’s reply when asked what he thought about daily foot bathing.”
Steven recently changed to a Moore Concrete foot bath. It is filled using a volume washer that fits to bayonet fitting on the outside wall of the milking parlour and is emptied in to the underground channel that runs into a slurry tank.
“We used to moan about emptying and refilling the old footbath. Now, all it takes is five minute,” Steven confirmed.
What’s more, the cows are keener to go through the new footbath. It holds 400lt of water to which is added 4lt of Provita Hoofsure Endurance. In total, 125 cows are walked through every milking with 20 dry cows and the 5-8 transition cows going through every time a fresh mix is put in the footbath every fifth milking.
Hoofsure Endurance footbath solution can be used for daily foot bathing purposes. It is extremely cost effective, given its 1:100 dilution rate and the fact that a 200 litre footbath, containing Hoofsure Endurance, will be sufficient to cover up to 500 cow passes.
The following article appeared in Farming Life, Sat 29th October, 2011.
DairyCo figures have highlighted that a quarter of the British dairy herd is lame at any one time, costing farmers an average of £180 per case through lost milk sales, treatments and reduced activity. Traditionally around 25% of all lameness has been associated with digital dermatitis. As everyone knows, this is an infectious condition that can spread quickly through the herd, producing painful lesions on the soft tissues between the claws and the heel. Cows often walk tenderly on the affected feet, sometimes giving the impression that they are walking on ‘tip toes’ in order to avoid touching the ground with the painful area of the hoof.
Last week, as part of a training session for their newly recruited lameness assessors, locally based natural animal health company, Provita, which is recognised among the farming community for their leading footbathing solution, Hoofsure Endurance, spent two days with renowned vet Roger Blowey (FRCVS).
The Provita team were inquisitive as to why cows seemed to be walking on their ‘tip toes’ and how digital dermatitis can impact this. It was explained that a cow with digital dermatitis will naturally walk on her toes to reduce pain on her heel. This is well illustrated in the book, “Cattle Lameness and Footcare” which was nicknamed by one of the new recruits as his ‘hoofcare survival guide’ on foot conditions. This explains that the incidence of new digital dermatitis infected hoof lesions seems to be higher in herds where digital dermatitis is poorly controlled, and can often result in total amputation of the digit.
R.Blowey also wrote to the Vet Record in August 2011 pointing that there is increasingly more evidence to suggest a secondary involvement of digital dermatitis. What is especially interesting about digital dermatitis is that over the past few years the disease has changed. In addition to causing infections of the skin, the bacteria have now moved onto the hoof, and are associated with non healing hoof lesions such as toe necrosis, ‘wall ulcers’ and non-healing sole ulcers. The reason for this change in disease pattern is unknown, but the change has been noted in several different countries around the world at the same time, and highlights that a major shift is now required in our approach to the control of infectious causes of lameness on farm. This emerging welfare issue will have huge ramifications for farmers.
Provita Technical Advisor, Tommy Armstrong also emphasised, “Secondary effects of digital dermatitis mean that preventative footbathing is no longer optional but critical! Our lameness assessors have been professionally trained and farmers can make use of this service by contacting Provita on 07720101444.