Wet spring conditions pose a variety of hoof health challenges for dairy producers. Here are three of the biggest problems – and the best ways to tackle them for healthy hooves year-round:
- Control excessive moisture. Spring rains mean hooves and skin are subjected to moisture to longer periods of time, making them more susceptible to Digital Dermatitis (Hairy Heel Wart) and other infections. Repeated freeze-and-thaw cycles can cause mud and water build-up, and interfere with manure removal. Extra steps should be taken during this time to keep stalls, alleys and parlors as clean and dry as possible.
- Ensure footbaths are working properly. If you’ve reduced or eliminated footbaths during the winter, now is the time to get them up and running again. Operations using copper or zinc sulfate footbaths can follow this sample protocol for HoofMax. Producers who prefer to tackle digital dermatitis without heavy metals or formaldehyde can use a product like HealMax, available in a footbath concentrate as well as spray or foam. Decide whether or not a pre-wash makes sense for your operation.
- Adopt a proactive approach. Of course, the best way to prevent hoof problems and costly lameness is with a proactive, hoof health program year-round. Ask your local AgroChem representative about a hoof care protocol that’s right for your operation. For more information about proven hoof health solutions by AgroChem, contact your AgroChem representative today.