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Foot care in livestock

Need for foot care in animals

  • The hoof is like your fingernail and grows continuously.
  • Walking wears the hoof down but sometimes the hoof grows very quickly and becomes overgrown.
  • In some places where the ground is too wet, the foot can get infected and it becomes smelly and painful. This condition is called foot rot and the animal can become lame.
  • When animals have infected or overgrown feet they cannot walk and graze properly. The male cannot mount the female and is useless.

How to hold or cast animals in order to trim the feet

  • You can trim the feet of sheep and goats alone or with someone to help you.
  • Grasp the wool or hair on the chest with one hand while holding the animal on its flank with the other hand.
  • Use your knee to push against the animal's back and force it into a sitting position. The animal can be kept in this position for a long time while the feet are trimmed.
TRIM FEET

How to hold to trim feet’s

In order to trim the feet of cattle or buffalo you will need to cast the animal. The leg may be lifted and tied as shown.

leg

Leg may be lifted and tied

Trimming the feet

You will need any suitable sharp tool such as a knife, hoof cutter large carpenter's rasp, or sharp carpenter's pincers.

tools

Sharp tool for trimming feet

  • Cut the overgrown claw of the hoof by carefully taking off a little at a time.
  • Stop if bleeding occurs. Do not cut down too far.
  • Like your fingernail the hoof has a sensitive area which if cut into will become painful and infected.
  • Stop if the foot (sole) springs back when pushed with the thumb. When you have cut the hoof down use a rasp, if you have one, to file and neaten the edge of the hoof.
  • If the foot is infected and wet and smelly you should carefully remove the damaged areas so that the infected area is exposed to the air.
  • The infected area should then be painted with tincture of iodine or formalin. Repeat the treatment every 2 days.
  • If you regularly check the feet and keep them trimmed you will not have any problems.
  • If you have sheep, and there is a lot of foot rot in your area, ask your veterinarian for advice and a vaccine against Foot rot.

Source : Pashu sakhi Handbook

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