Cow hoof

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A cow hoof is cloven, or divided, into two approximately equal parts, usually called claws.[1]


Approximately 95% of lameness in dairy cattle occurs in the feet.[1] 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 trimming[edit]

Trimming a cow's hoof using an angle grinder

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.[citation needed] 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.


  1. ^ a b Shearer, Jan K.; Sarel Rens Van Amstel; Adrian Gonzalez (2005). Manual of foot care in cattle. Hoard's Dairyman Books.