Lameness continues to be, aside from mastitis, one of the greatest challenges posed to dairy farmers in recent years.
As cows across the country are heading back out to grass at the moment, it is important to ensure that regular hoof care is undertaken. Walking long distances on small stones or rough surfaces can cause physical damage to hooves and as a result, care must be taken to ensure that regular hoof maintenance is carried out, to reduce the risk of potential hoof problems. Although these problems are non-infectious, they can result in reduced milk yield and reduced fertility.
Bacterial infections are a regular occurrence at this time of year, as infections can be passed from cow to cow through slurry or dung which gathers on surfaces where the animals may be standing or walking for long periods of time. This type of infection can cause severe discomfort to the cow and can also reduce their mobility. Mortellaro is one such disease which is an increasing risk on dairy farms both in Ireland and abroad currently.
There are many costs associated with both non-infectious and bacterial lameness, these costs include:
- Increased veterinary costs
- Increased labour costs
- Wasted milk
- Reduced fertility
Using a footbath can help prevent the spread of infectious lesions and harden the walls of the hoof to prevent non-infectious lesions. The Murphy Concrete Products precast footbath is an easy-to-use, hassle-free approach to treating animal’s feet with an antibacterial disinfectant solution, following advice from your vet. The level platform on the footbath means that there is no stepping down as it fits into the animal’s stride. To ensure a high level of hygiene, there are two large wash holes on either side of the footbath.
There are several locations that are practical for the placement of your footbath, but ideally, place it where all animals must walk through it as part of their routine, with the best place being at the exit from the milking parlour. It is also important that the footbaths are in a position where they are easy to fill, clean and maintain. The hygiene of the footbath is also very important, as if it is not maintained and cleaned regularly, it could cause infection instead of preventing it.
For more information on our precast concrete footbaths, click here.