The correct claw form of cattle - Practical Experience
The correct claw form of cattle - Practical Experience

Importance of clawform of dairy cows

No claw trimming is necessary in the natural habitat of cattle. Natural ground is not only soft, but it also abrades the claws with very fine sand and stone particles, .... with every step.

However, under housing conditions claw trimming must be done regularly two to three times a year. The balance between horn formation and abrasion is out of balance and malformation occurs, e.g. because:

  • the animals often have contact with faeces and urine and the claws become softer
  • high metabolic activity results in high horn formation rates
  • claw diseases (e.g. laminitis, foot rot) causes stronger horn growth

-> correct claw form is important

a) to avoid overloading:

optimal load conditions with correct claw form avoid overloading / sole ulcer

source: Kümper, H.

b) to get the heel area out of dirt and to prevent infectious claw diseases (e.g. dermatitis digitalis/Mortellaro, heel horn erosion)

correct claw form prevents infectious claw diseases

source: aid-Heft „Management der Klauenpflege“ [Management of claw trimming], 2008

KRAIBURG Praxiserfahrung_Ballenhornfäule

Critical

Extensive heel horn erosion

  • shock absorbing heel horn is lost
  • increased risk of sole ulcers

source: BLOWEY, Roger, 1998

Recommendations for practice:

  1. check claw form regularly and correct if necessary (functional claw trimming)
  2. pay attention to sufficient bulb height – counteract infectious claw diseases through hygiene in the walking alley (frequency of scraping!) and lying comfort
  3. bring natural surface conditions to the stable: soft walking covers with specific abrasive zones, which keep the claw form natural 365 days a year (pediKURA® system)

rubber mat with abrasive agent on the surface for claw abrasion

Ideal: rubber mat with an abrasive agent on the surface, which was added during vulcanisation

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