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When To Trim Feet?

1 February 2017

To improve herd profit we need to pay a lot more attention to foot care/locomotion.  The first way to do this is to have an annual hoof trimming session – but when is the best time to do it?

When Not To Trim

Foot trimming causes animal stress however good the facilities.  Critical times for avoiding stressing cows are –

  1. One month pre and 2 weeks post calving.
  2. At mating and the following 5 weeks to avoid reabsorption of the embryo.

To get the whole herd done at once will mean avoiding these danger periods for the whole herd.  Like all management, these potential slots are dependant on the length of the calving/mating period.

With a 2 month calving period there is a slot of 2 – 3 weeks prior to mating starting and a much bigger of 5 months slot, starting 5 weeks after mating finishes.

In comparison with a 4 month calving period there is only one, shorter option of just 3 months, again starting 5 weeks after mating ends.

NB       A list of fully qualified foot trimmers can be found on the National Association of Cattle Foot Trimmers (

Basil Lowman,

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