posted on Apr, 28 2018 @ 07:39 PM
Now, many people think about 'hoof trimming' as what a Farrier does to a horse to shoe them. However hoof trimming on a cow is a very different
To shoe a horse a Farrier has the horse at a stand and pulls her/his foot backwards, and then trims the hoof and fits the shoe, often custom fitting a
steel shoe with a forge.
Trimming a cow hoof is far (far) different. ...
The trimmer shows up at 0630am, and he has a chute (a very strange chute). We run the cows (just one today) through the crowding tub and alley and
into our squeeze chute. We've fixed panels to the exit of our chute into the trimmer's chute (at the end of ours). The cow goes in, and gets
caught in a head-gate. Chains and straps are on the ground, she's already walked over them. The trimmer pulls up the chains and the belly straps
under her, and the whole hydraulic assembly picks the whole cow up off the ground.
She's scared. Then we flip her over on her side and chain each of her legs in different spots. Our trimmer, trims 300 dairy cattle a month, but
ours aren't dairy cattle. #48 (that's her name) struggles, she struggles the whole time (which amazes this guy how angry she is). She's growling
and struggling, but we're trying to help her. Her toe was so badly overgrown her leg was almost bowing. This was important...for her (survival).
#48 has had a bad week, we took her calf from her on Thursday because her teets are hardened to the point where her little bull calf is getting no
milk (and what he was getting was diseased). She was what we call "waspy" this morning, meaning she pretty much wanted to kill anything or anyone
near her, but we had to get her into the crowding tub, and then into the alley to be trimmed. She charged, she ran, she jumped...and she charged
again. The trimmer wasn't helping us, he was just setting up his thing; our job was to get #48 into the tub.
I didn't think she'd go, having been in the chute just two days ago and wrecking (falling down) inside the chute. She knew. They remember. She
wasn't going, and she wanted to fight going in. After about 30 minutes of some pretty intense actions, we got her in the tub...and headed down the
alley. She went right into the trimming cage and we got the straps under her belly. Up she went, off the ground.
#48 has never been off the ground before and she didn't like it. She struggled for the entire 90 minutes on her side that the trimmer needed to fix
her bum toe. It was pretty bad. The best thing I heard this morning at 730am was "I've seen a lot worse!".
Tonight she's walking ably on all fours and not limping. On the table he hit some pretty tender spots on her toes (think: like your toe nails). We
found an old abcess which probably caused the toe issue, but he dug it out. It was traumatic.
We put her back down on the ground, and I figured she'd go crazy, but she didn't. She just walked up to the other pasture where we had some of the
other cows and went through the gate. Tonight she seems a little tender, but she seems almost incredulous that her toe no longer bothers her.
What a long, long, week!!