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Anna
Posts: 115
 Anna
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How often is everyone doing foot baths?

Our cows have hoof issues and we run a footbath 4 milkings per week. It is getting too costly and I wonder if I should reduce to 2 milkings a week.

Is there a cheaper alternative to a traditional copper sulfate foot bath?

 

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Mugera. M jobseeker
Posts: 37
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Joined: 7 months ago

Here formalin is used and footbath is done twice a week.

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Anna
Posts: 115
 Anna
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That's great!

I wonder if you gave her shoes. 

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Anna
Posts: 115
 Anna
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lame cow prevention

1. Early detection

2. Reduce herding pressure on the cows

3. improve hygiene

4. maintain healthy hooves. regular trimming

5. keep records of what lesions are causing lameness

 

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Fred@DHI
Posts: 4
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Joined: 6 months ago

what are you trying to achieve with the foot bath? I know you want to minimize lameness but what do you think a footbath does for you to achieve that?

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Anna
 Anna
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@freddhi

We have a lot of footrot, i think it's spreading. 

I know copper sulfate is for hardening hoofs , I wonder if it helps foot rot as well.

What do you think?

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Fred@DHI
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Copper sulfate is indeed used for hardening hooves. However, hardening hooves is actually not that beneficial to the cow especially if she is lame. It is the health of the forum that determines the susceptibility to lameness much more so than the hardness of the hoof. If you have a footrot issue you could use copper sulfate. Footrot is an inflammation between the claws which is caused by bacteria. Copper sulfate will kill the bacteria but in order for it to be effective a cow should stand in it for about 20 minutes. That is not practical. Copper does not brake down in the environment either so you slowly poison your land if you use it all the time. This is a real concern. A better option would be to use a formalin bath. It is more effective than copper sulfate and it does brake down. It is just horrible stuff to work with. If you decide to use it you only need to walk your cows through it once per fortnight. When you notice the footrot cases settle down you can reduce it to once per 3 or 4 weeks until you don't have the problem anymore. At that point you can stop using it. You should not walk your lame cows through the bath. The bath is only as a preventative. Cows with footrot need to be treated with penicillin. Make sure that you use a bath and not a mat because with a mat the liquid doesn't get to the interdigital skin so it won't help against footrot. The bath should be about 12 cm deep. If the cows are not used to a bath just put water in the bath for a few milkings to let the cows get used to it. Splashing formalin is not very good. I hope this helps

[email protected] dairy hoofcare institute nz

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Anna
 Anna
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@freddhi

A formalin bath seems to be a better option. Mugera's farm is using it too.

If copper sulfate and formalin do the same job (hardening hooves) why do some farmers still use copper sulfate? Is it cheaper??

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Fred@DHI
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@lizard9569gmail-com

Copper sulphate is not cheaper. Just much better to work with. Formalin fumes are not good for you. It's carcinogenic. 

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NZCOWMAN
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Joined: 9 months ago
Posted by: @freddhi

Copper does not brake down in the environment either so you slowly poison your land if you use it all the time.

I did not know that. !!

Could you tell me how it affects the land? 

I use copper quite a bit because we have a lame issue on the farm.

Cheers

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Fred@DHI
Joined: 6 months ago

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Posts: 4

@nzcowman

Formalin turns into water and therefore it is not a burden on the environment. Copper however stays in the environment as copper. So when you clean the foot bath that copper will end up in your effluent pond and so spread onto your land. If you use copper sulphate a lot then the buildup of copper in the soil is higher than the uptake into the plant and therefore you are slowly poisoning your land. You don't need a foot bath other than as a disinfectant. In that case once per fortnight should be enough. If you use it to harden the hoof you will need to use it every day. However lameness management is not about getting the hooves hard. It is about keeping the life tissue in the hoof healthy. That is quite a different thing. 

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