Hoof Trimming by Alison Livermore

Why might we trim cattle feet? Cattle feet grow all the time, like our toenails, and the same as sheep, horse and goat hooves. Generally, they are work down by the animal walking around, especially if they walk on gravelly or sandy ground. But if there is an abundance of feed, soft or muddy ground underfoot, or the cow has less than perfect foot structure, the toes can get too long and start to curl up and deform.

In this photo you can see the length of toe and, whilst it hasn’t started to curl, would do so if untrimmed. Cattle don’t pick their feet up like a horse is able to do so a specially designed trailer is used to make a trimming job easy and safe and low stress for the cow.

While it might look a little uncomfotable the animals are quite relaxed once on their side.

An angle grinder with a special grinding disc is used. This disc has holes in it so that it doesn’t get too hot.

Once the trim has been completed the cow has any issues treated and is stood back up on her feet and allowed to go back to her paddock. Very occasionally she might be sore for a few days but generally the animal is more comfortable after the treatment. Some of our cattle are trimmed yearly, some have never been trimmed, and the older the cow, the more likely she’ll benefit from the occasional tidy up.