Falling temperatures, rising claw lesion problems?
Infectious lesions can be caused by a variety of factors, including inadequate footbath programs, dirty environmental conditions, stress, introducing cattle from an infected herd, lack of claw maintenance programs and inadequate nutrition (micronutrients).
If infectious lesions are found to be a problem during the winter months, Dr DeFrain offers the following management strategies:
Practice good biosecurity procedures.
o All newly arrived cattle should go through a footbath several times.
Focus on keeping cows cleaner.
o Frequency of pen/stall cleaning, role of automatic alley scrapers, stocking density, barn layout and manure management, walkways and alleyways.
Improve effectiveness of footbath program .
Use cow leg hygiene scores to help determine appropriate frequency of footbath use.
Maintain a good micronutrient program.
o Trace mineral nutrition plays a critical role in building and maintaining strong, healthy feet. Research has shown that feeding a combination of trace minerals (Zn, Mn, Cu and Co) in a highly available complexed form helps decrease both the incidence and severity of common claw lesions.
Maintenance trim cows at least two times per year.
o Helps keep cows off their heels, while also opening up the interdigital space.
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Article made possible through the contribution of Zinpro.