30th MAY 2019 - Page 29



FARM WEEK
FEATURE
L
IFE Data Hoof Clay is a noncaustic hoof packing that is
natural, easy to handle and
can safely be applied with your
bare hands.
It uses a blend of ingredients that
will not burn or destroy tissue and,
due to its sticky property, stays
within existing wall cracks, wall
NOVEMBER 09 2017
29
Long term benefits with Life Data Hoof Clay
defects, old nail holes and hoof
wall separations for extended
periods of time.
Applications in the central and
collateral sulci provide longer
term benefit than conventional
products.
When applied under the shoes
at each reset, it helps protect
the white line and white line
separations.
Iodine and tea tree oil are
ingredients that give the product
its unique properties.
To find out more about Life Data
Labs, Inc, makers of Farrier’s
Formula, go to www.lifedatalabs.
co.uk
Milk production – the critical
importance of foot bathing cows
L
LEADER: Luc Mirabito, team leader for the
International Dairy Federation’s guide to good
animal welfare practices in dairy production.
Transparency is
a vital tool for
animal welfare
THERE is a growing need for greater
transparency in the results of animal welfare
schemes across the global dairy sector, the
World Dairy Summit in Belfast was told last
week.
Dr Jennifer Walker, Director, Dairy
Stewardship, of Dean Foods Company, a
leading manufacturer of dairy produce in the
United States, told the summit that guidelines
produced in many schemes do not include
sufficiently specific outcomes that can be
audited.
Dr Walker told the summit: “There is a need
for standardised industry acceptance of what
animal welfare standards should look like.
Measurable outcomes that can be audited are
an essential part of this process.”
Dr Walker said consumers want to feel
good about issues such as animal welfare but
the priority should be ‘what is good for the
cow’. Customers of dairy companies such as
retailers, restaurants and coffee shops are
increasingly demanding information and
transparency on animal welfare standards.
Luc Mirabito, team leader for the
International Dairy Federation’s guide to good
animal welfare practices in dairy production
and expert in the World Organisation for
Animal’s (OIE) former Animal Welfare
Working Group, said: “It is vital that the
dairy industry evidences that farmers are
doing their utmost to ensure high standards
of animal welfare. The practical use of an
animal welfare management system in a farm
environment is a powerful tool to demonstrate
good animal husbandry practices. To help
achieve this objective, OIE standards and
general principles can be used as a relevant
and valuable starting point.
“On a global scale, the vision is to reach
a world where the welfare of animals
is respected, promoted and advanced,
in ways that complement the pursuit of
animal health, human well-being, socioeconomic development and environmental
sustainability.”
AMENESS is, fundamentally, a welfare
issue which has a direct bearing on
cow performance.
For example, a severe case in the
first month of lactation can reduce
305-day milk yield by 350 kilos. Lameness will
also reduce fertility levels. The overall cost of
a lameness case is £330 per cow. This figure
takes account of both direct and indirect
costs.
Regular foot bathing has been confirmed
as a crucially important way of controlling
infectious diseases, such as digital dermatitis.
Baths can be put in place as single or coupled
units and set up in a way that allows for ease
of filling, emptying and cleaning.
Increasing numbers of farmers are now
using foot baths in tandem. The first bath is
filled with clean water, which provides for
the additional washing of hooves. Cows are
also, more likely, to dung in the first bath.
This approach ensures that the second bath,
containing the active solution, will be more
effective over a longer period of time.
For foot bathing to be successful, an
effective antimicrobial product must be used.
It is also important to foot bath dry cows and
heifers. Research has also confirmed that
foot bathing, pre or post milking, is equally
effective.
Footbaths should be calibrated to ensure
the correct concentration of solution is used.
FOOT BATH: A standard Moore Concrete foot
bath, dimensions 4,000mm (13’2) long x 1,100m
(3’7) wide x 300mm (1’) deep.
In terms of frequency, there is a ‘no one size
fits all policy”. However, regular bathing –
between three and seven times per week
– may be necessary to control infectious
diseases, including digital dermatitis and
lameness.
Moore Concrete manufactures a range of
precast footbaths to meet the requirements of
all dairy farms. When considering sighting a
footbath, research has shown that this is most
effective when incorporated into the cattle’s
normal routine. Hence Moore Concrete’s
range is designed for use in different areas of
farm buildings.
For example, on some farms the preference
is for the cows to be actually standing in a
footbath solution while at a drinking trough,
on other farms, footbaths are located at the
exit to the parlour or robot. Approaches of
this kind ensure that the cows are foot bathed
regularly. They also relieve part of the work
burden at milking times.
Footbaths can include a slightly roughened
floor, providing secure footing for livestock.
When filled, they contain solution to a
minimum depth of four inches, enough to
cover the heels, although a depth of six to
eight inches is often recommended according
to AHDB research. They further recommend a
length of three to four metres to ensure cows
take three to four steps when walking through
the footbath.
The baths can be easily emptied, simply
by pulling out the 100mm (4’) bung that can
either be located in the base or side wall. If
the baths are placed on slats, the liquid falls
into the slurry tank below.
For further information speak to a member
of the agricultural team at Moore Concrete
on 028 2565 2566, Ext 1, or see website www.
moore-concrete.com/footbaths

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