Australian dairyfarmers can now access the latest lameness research and management techniques in one comprehensive document following the release of Dairy Australia's Healthy Hooves Manual.
Lameness is one of the biggest underestimated costs for farm businesses and the new Healthy Hooves Manual provides a straightforward roadmap for farm managers and employees to implement lameness prevention practices.
Dairy Australia's Kathryn Davis said Healthy Hooves would provide a good starting point for identifying practices that could be changed.
"The Healthy Hooves Manual is an essential resource to have available on farm," she said.
"Recognising the potential issues is one of the first steps in preventing lameness in the herd."
Studies have found that the level of lameness in a dairy herd is closely related to the knowledge, training and awareness of cow behaviour by the people who work with the herd. Healthy Hooves promotes preventative measures, with most types of lameness in cattle able to be managed by good stockmanship, attention to herd nutrition and maintenance of yards and laneways.
Ms Davis said one of the major benefits of managing lameness effectively was the cost savings for businesses.
"Lame cows lose body weight and are harder to get in-calf, so you're better off putting measures in place to prevent lameness before it occurs," she said. "In the long run, it will save your business money."
Tasmanian dairyfarmer Dave Field recently attended the launch of the Healthy Hooves Manual at a workshop at Edith Creek, Tas, and he's confident the new resource will be highly beneficial to his farm business.
"Attending the Healthy Hooves workshop has definitely improved our approach to lameness," he said.
"We took our staff along and included them in the process as well. It really has improved everyone's knowledge about lameness right across our business."
The Healthy Hooves Manual is part of a suite of resources developed by Dairy Australia to assist farmers with herd management. The Healthy Hooves website contains a raft of material including factsheets, videos and calculators, which cover everything from lameness scoring to hoof treatment and lameness prevention.
The Healthy Hooves Lameness Field Guide (second edition) is also now available and contains a series of identification and treatment measures. Designed for easy access and immediate application, the Field Guide can be easily placed in farm vehicles and consulted as incidents of lameness occur.
To order a copy of the Healthy Hooves Manual, new Healthy Hooves Lameness Field Guide or for more information on lameness prevention go to website healthyhooves.dairyaustralia.com.au<>.