Farmer Ben called in ‘The Hoofman’ on Monday (23/3/15). The bull needed inspecting first; he is due to be let loose to serve the ladies, so his hooves needed inspecting to make sure his feet are not un-balanced, swollen or infected. If cattle suffer from one or more of these problems they can become lame, they may quickly lose weight from not eating/drinking and milk production drops. The bull cannot serve the cows if he goes lame and we won’t get those cute little calves we all love to see. He was fine though and The Hoofman just cleaned and trimmed his hooves.
Ben tells me that because Fordhall cattle are outside all of the time they tend not to suffer from the more common problems. Therefore they only need The Hoofman when cattle show some small symptoms such as slight lameness or overgrown hooves. Cattle can suffer from a number of problems which cause lameness. They can be minor problems caused by small stones and more serious wounds such as ulcers, white line and abscesses. Small bruises can be an early sign of a problem to come.
Daisy (bought by Charlotte in 2002) and Molly two of the older cattle needed inspecting. They were showing signs of slight lameness so Ben had them inspected along with the bull. Daisy had a little overgrown tissue and a slight white line, Molly seemed okay, though she might have picked up a small stone. They had their hooves cleaned and trimmed, and along with the bull they were happy to get out of the ‘Cattle Foot Trimming Crush/Chute’. The Hoofman worked quickly and efficiently, he was calm and showed a great deal of kindness to the animals which helped to keep them calm.
The Hoofman uses what is called a ‘Cattle Foot Trimming Crush/Chute’ to hold the cattle when he starts to work on them. Cattle welfare is always the top priority with the farmers and ‘The Hoofman’ operators. According to their site ‘www.hoofman.co.uk’ The use of hydraulic levers for lifting feet can be very smooth; (unlike a button control which is on full power lifting) they find it better for cattle as there are no sharp jerks which upset an animal. Stress to the animal can also be reduced by considering the animals comfort and a stress free entry and exit of the crush.’