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Hoof Care & Cow Rehabilitation

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Hoof Care Advice

Monthly e-newsletter from New Zealand's most experienced, professional, and qualified instructor.

Hoof Care Tools

       WOPA Cattle Crush range              
Hauptner & Esculaap knives   
Demotec claw blocks
Bovi Bond adhesives
Specialist equipment


Product Range Brochure    
Full of useful technical information on the WOPA cattle crush range and other essential hoof care equipment

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WOPA Hoof Treatment Crush Range
Tougher, safer, faster. 
Discover why the features of the WOPA range of cattle crushes enable a safe, quick and better way for individual treatment of your cows. 
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Myth Busted: Stone bruises are the primary cause of lameness in my herd 

It’s difficult to challenge the prevailing view – especially when it is so often repeated; but if you think logically about this, you’ll see why it simply cannot be so. First, an anatomy lesson: the corium (red outline in diagram 1) is the skin that grows the hoof. When a cow is under stress, the corium, ligaments and tendons weaken which lets the pedal bone rotate in the claw (blue arrow). Viewed from below (diagram 2), the back part of the pedal bone (blue outline) compresses the corium between the pedal bone and the sole of the claw.

This results in a bruising at exactly that spot in the claw. It has nothing to do with standing on a stone! It is weakened live tissue, which we call laminitis. Now, evidence from the field: as a professional, qualified hoof trimmer I have viewed tens of thousands of hooves and I can tell you for a fact that there is a pattern of lameness that emerges time and time again. Have a look for yourself the next time you trim cows’ feet. Which claw has the most bruising? Which claw is usually the lame claw? Where on the claw do you find most of the bruising?  How do you explain the same pattern coming back over and over again? If the problem was caused by standing on stones would you not expect a much more random pattern? Think about it – myth busted.

Holistic Approach to Healthy Hooves
A cow with a damaged hoof is disastrous for your business but a holistic approach to healthy hooves, through nutrition and maintenance, helps keep lameness at bay.
Balanced claw after preventative hoof trimming
Importance of Nutrition

A common misconception is that hoof damage is caused by rough tracks and constant walking to and from the sheds. This is incorrect. Hoof damage starts from the inside out; not from the outside in. Nutrition is critical. If the cow is in optimal condition its hooves will be strong and healthy and able to resist normal wear and tear of every day milking. “Softer”, well maintained tracks and sheds helps but the main point is that proper nutrition is the key factor in preventing lameness. The best method of feeding is one that avoids rumen upset, so careful phasing of the herd between feed types is required.

Preventative Hoof Trimming

Curbing excessive hoof growth is also essential.  This happens when one claw becomes longer than the other, causing uneven weight distribution. The longer claw grows even more to try and cope. Eventually the longer claw will start to buckle and falter under the extra weight - lameness. Preventative, expert hoof trimming ensures that both claws on each hoof are even, and in the best shape for evenly carrying the weight of the cow.

In summary - correct nutrition keeps the cow in optimum health by avoiding rumen upset and preventative, expert hoof trimming will significantly reduce the amount of lameness in your herd.

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Best Rural Business 2012
This award is the result of our total focus on providing safe, fast hoof care for our customers. Thanks to you for your ongoing support and loyalty. Without you, this award would not have been possible!
Whether you need hoof care services, 
tools or training, we are here to help.
FREE PHONE 0800 833463.  

"Lame cows are no longer a problem to deal with which makes the job a pleasure with no risk of a cow hurting herself trying to get away. Much safer for the person dealing with lame cows, thus less stress."..Neville Harrison - Hawera

"Cows are more settled when they are well restrained making the job of trimming so much more enjoyable and safer."..Dario Roma - Ashburton

Our crush was installed Spring 2011 with a purpose-built race. The cows now flow well into the crush and being able activate the crush mechanism from the rear makes it simple and efficient for one person to capture the cow. We regularly use the cow for different things as well, e.g. AI and calving!..Wakelin Family - North Canty Dairy Farmers

“Saves my back and makes dealing with front feet a piece of cake!” ..A Crump - Putaruru

"Having such a safe and easy to use crush means less time treating each cow. This results in more prompt treatment which can ultimately mean less lost production. No more struggling with leg ropes to restrain the cow. The cows are relaxed and comfortable and the operator can concentrate on doing the best job on their feet!"..David Tanner - Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre

“Crush very easy to use and kind to the cows. Cows are kept well-restrained while trimming hooves. We now treat cows quicker because it’s no hassle using the crush”..Kevin Chappell - Leeston

"Increased Safety, Ease and Comfort when treating lame cows. Clients impressed by Facilities and Service. Best Crush on the market."..Massey University Equine & Farm Services

"Staff are more willing to treat lame cows in a timely fashion. The cows being treated are securely held and comfortable. Staff are safe. The rubber mat was definitely worth purchasing"..Paul Marshall - Tuatapere

“Since purchasing the WOPA Crush we have improved the ease of capture and restraining of cows. Simple lifting of infected legs. No problems with back strain or arms getting crushed in Vet races. The expense involved with personal injury and treatment from trimming hooves has been removed. The whole operation has been improved and efficiently executed. Farm staff look forward now to trimming hooves.”..Shaun Pound – Pokene

"We found that cows generally recover faster as swelling from not being restrained properly in the cowshed is no longer. Lame cows are picked up and treated faster due to the experience being safer & faster. We also find it is just as useful for drenching and examining sick animals!"..Taranaki Farmer

“Makes the job so much easier. I now have confidence that my staff can do the job properly without me needing to be there." ..Tom Irvings - Darfield

"Feel a lot better about staff being able to tie up legs and treat cows properly with less risk of injury to both cow & person"..Neville McDonald - Southland

“High quality product, great customer support, excellent return on investment! I have piece of mind that both staff and animals are safe” ..Keay – Bulls

What Our Customers Are Saying