Management Action

Why is this practice important?

Scrap lots to minimize cows’ hooves coming in contact with manure and urine

Increased exposure of hooves and feet to manure and urine can increase the incidence of foot rot and other infectious foot problems.  Also, moist hooves are softer and may be more susceptible to injury from small stones found in lanes used to move cows to and from barn lots.

Trim feet regularly

Make sure cows can distribute their weight evenly over the claw

Proper and routine use of footbaths

Prevent infectious diseases of the hoof

Minimize standing time on concrete surfaces

Provide comfortable, well-bedded, and properly-designed freestalls for cows to lie down and chew their cuds.

Do not overcrowd the freestall barn- enough stalls are needed so that the timid heifer can “find her own stall”

After feeding, the majority of the herd should be able to lie down in stalls and chewing their cuds

If cows are not using the stalls properly, investigate how to improve their usage (Are the stalls the proper length? Do cows have adequate lunge space to get up and to lie down? Are the stalls comfortable?)

 Prevent hock lesions

Adequate bedding is needed in the rear of the stall to prevent lesions. (With mattresses, 1 inch of bedding should cover the back of the stall.)