Hoof Growth and Wear in Pasture-Fed Dairy-Cattle

By Morris, R. S. and Tranter, W. P., New Zealand Veterinary Journal, 1992
Research Paper Web Link / URL:
Hoof growth and wear studies were conducted on ten spring-calving cows over 12 months. The rates of hoof wall growth and wear were lower in autumn and winter than during spring and summer. Both were greater in 2-year-old than in mature cows (p < 0.05). Sole wear occurred most rapidly along the abaxial edge of the weight-bearing surface, less quickly in the toe and heel areas, and most slowly in the mid-sole region. Both hoof wall wear and sole wear were greater in lateral digits than in medial digits (p < 0.01). Sole concavity, measured using a profile gauge, was greater in 2- year-olds prior to calving than in mature-aged cows (p < 0.05) but this difference disappeared soon after calving as concavity was lost in the younger cows. Medial digits almost always had greater concavity than lateral digits. Sole concavity measurements were also made on the hind digits of 24 autumn-calving cows on four occasions at 2-monthly intervals. Prior to calving, concavity was much greater in these cows than in the spring-calving cows. However, concavity was lost rapidly following calving and concavity measurements were soon similar to those found in the spring-calvin cows
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