A cow hoof is cloven, or divided, into two approximately equal parts, usually called claws.
Approximately 95% of lameness in dairy cattle occurs in the feet. Lameness in dairy cows can reduce milk production and fertility, and cause reproductive problems, suffering and expense. Prevention is important. Cattle areas should be kept dry, since a hoof kept constantly wet becomes soft and subject to injury and foot rot. Cows should have room to move so that their hooves experience normal wear.
Hoof trimmers trim and care for bovine hooves, principally those of dairy cows. Hooves were once trimmed with a sharp knife while the cow was restrained and positioned with ropes. Most large-scale hoof-trimming today makes use of angle grinders and of some type of hoof trimming crush. A hoof trimmer using modern machinery may trim the hooves of more than 10.000 cows per year. The trimmer shapes the hooves to provide the optimal weight bearing surface. A freshly trimmed hoof may be treated with copper sulfate to prevent foot rot.
- Shearer, Jan K.; Sarel Rens Van Amstel; Adrian Gonzalez (2005). Manual of foot care in cattle. Hoard's Dairyman Books.