Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cow Pedicures

Lariat and LaFonda's hooves were getting pretty long after the long winter of not walking around the pasture much.  If their hooves grow too long, it can be uncomfortable for cows to walk and they can even break off right down to the flesh - very painful. I got the name of cattle hoof trimmer Bob Hanson from our dairy farmer neighbor. Bob happened to be working on a nearby dairy farm today and was able to come here afterwards.

Bob pulls his complete cow manicure parlor behind his truck, so all we had to do was plug it into our clothes dryer outlet and convince each cow to walk into the chute--a challenge, but not too difficult with my secret weapon: cow cookies.  LaFonda's horns were a bit tricky, but Bob knew what he was doing. And LaFonda didn't.
Two belts  support the cow from underneath so she can't kick or move around and a strap holds each foot in place for trimming. Coincidentally, I scheduled the hoof trim for the perfect time, right after calving.
It's not the most dignified position for a cow.
Bob has  had his hoof-trimming business for 30 years.  He said in his younger days he used to do 60 cows a day; now he usually does 40.  Besides trimming the hooves, he checks for foot sores or hairy warts and treats any problems.  My cows didn't have any problems but LaFonda did have a small stick stuck in one hoof that could have caused future problems if not removed.
After LaFonda, it was Lariat's turn. She was pretty suspicious, but food hound that she is, she couldn't resist the lure of some sweet grain and walked right in.

Bob giving Lariat her pedicure:
Lariat was pretty happy to have this procedure over.  Now she can romp in the pasture without tripping on her toes. She needs to be able to run fast to keep up with her calf, Jitterbug!


katiegirl said...

Very neat! I have seen the tables that tip cows on their sides, but his table seems like it would keep the cows a little quieter.

Tom and Bethany said...

I will now officially stop whining about my underwire.

-Bethany (not Tom).

Mary said...

I've never seen that done before. Really cool.

gz said...

All new mums need a pedicure!

Allison at Novice Life said...

Wow! It makes farrier visits for the horses look like a breeze!

Mama Pea said...

I've never seen a contraption like that. How cool and how much easier it must make it for the hoof trimmer guy!