Friday, 30 December 2016

Tackling lameness: a foot trimmer perspective

When tackling lameness on-farm, foot trimmers are the ‘go to’ for cow hoof care. However, foot trimmer and Director of ‘The Hoofman Ltd, Charlie Harding, believes that farmers, vets, nutritionists and consultants can better utilise the information gathered during foot trimmers visit, to have a more targeted approach.

“Lameness cases vary from farm to farm. There isn’t a one size fits all approach to lameness management, and often the sharing of information as a collaborative approach is the key to resolving issues,” says Charlie Harding.

Proactive use of data

After each visit, the trimmer should produce a report detailing which cows who have been seen and if there are any lameness issues present.

“This report is produced for the farmer to help inform them of the current herd lameness status,” explains Charlie. However, he acknowledges that in reality, often the reports are put into the farm office only to be brought out for the milk buyer and farm assurance visits. 

“They’re not being utilised as effectively as they could, and as a result, cases aren’t followed up, patterns and trends aren’t identified and re-occurring cows aren’t managed,” he says.

“We’re aware that farmers are time poor, but lameness shouldn’t be neglected. We’re seeing that if producers buy into a team approach and knowledge is shared, an effective lameness plan can be implemented and managed, making a difference long term.

“When I’m on farm, I make an effort to share the information directly to the other parties who are involved in herd health planning.

“If I can discuss cases with the vet directly, I can be specific in my analysis. The vet can then effectively advise the farmer of the best approach to minimise risk factors causing lameness and as a result, treat the cows appropriately,” he adds.

Farm specific issue

Charlie notes that often farmers talk about the issue as a whole, rather than on a case-by-case basis, so often there isn’t a targeted approach to treatment and control methods.

“Lameness comes in many shapes and forms, and often the way to minimise those cases is for foot trimmers to be as specific as possible in their assessment. As a trimmer, I see first-hand what the main lameness problems are on-farm, and I’d encourage farmers to talk to their foot trimmer to find out what specific cases they’re seeing,” he says. 

He explains that the recent changes to the Nation Association of Cattle Foot Trimmers (NACFT) code of working practice, which outline the correct foot-trimming techniques, is having a positive impact on how trimmers approach specific lameness problems.

The NACFT are looking at all it members been registered mobility scores allowing hoof trimmers to become on farm mobility managers.

One addition to the guidelines is recommendation to administer a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID), such as ketoprofen, alongside trimming and application of a block, as it’s been proven to quicken recovery and reduce the risk of relapse.

“This is where a close working relationship with the farm vet means we can discuss the best approach to a large number of claw horn lesions, for example, so the vet can make recommendations to the farmer to include ketoprofen treatment,” he says.

Preparing for the visit

Alongside foot trimmers and vets working together, Charlie believes that farmers also have a proactive role in mobility scoring and selecting cattle for the trimmer to see, to get the most from their visit. 

“We only tend to visit farms once a month, so to have a positive outcome and reduce lameness cases overtime, farmers need to utilise our skills while we’re on-farm,” he says.

He suggests that this can start with daily monitoring of the herd through accurate mobility scoring, to be able to identify any cows who aren’t quite right and need treating before they become chronic. 

“As an industry, we’re now trying to educate farmers on the importance of early identification of score 2 cows, so we can prevent future clinical cases. These are the cases who need to be treated promptly to prevent them turning into a score 3 cow, and becoming clinical.”

Charlies says that farmers tend to get into the habit of lining up cows who are written in the diary due for a trim, rather than giving the trimmer cows who are lame or not walking quite right that need corrective treatment. 

“If regularly mobility scoring can be implemented, and cows who need prompt treatment can be confidently identified, it can play a big role in reducing the number of clinical cases. Trimmers will then be treating the cows who need treatment, which will have a positive effect on reducing lameness prevalence. 

“The sooner a cow is identified as ‘not walking right’, the sooner treatment can be given and there is a greater chance of quick recovery. If mobility scoring can be implemented into the daily routine, you’ll see the positive effect it has on herd health, and on the bottom line.”

“Ultimately, it’s all about early detection, and prompt effective treatment.”

Charlie believes in a targeted team approach, with vets and trimmers and other farm consultants sharing knowledge and data to help farmers get on top of the issue, as this will lead to a reduction in the prevalence of lameness cases.

“If as an industry, we work together and share our knowledge and information then I do believe we’ll see a positive effect and a reduction in cases on UK dairy farms.”

Saturday, 24 December 2016

What may 2017 hold for the hoof trimmer

These are my own thoughts but interested to hear what everyone thinks and the way forward in other countries.

I see so many times hoof trimmers from other countries demonstrating that they don’t want to regulated by some government department that doesn’t understand the industry. Here in the UK the feeling is the same with UK hoof trimmers but it is not the government that we see controlling our hoof trimming business.

The UK is seen to be leading the way in regulations, the only reason is that that the UK is a small country that changes can be implemented very quickly.

The UK is a small country but with social media the general public are seeing animal welfare, antibiotic usage and British farmers milk prices and are demonstrating with their pockets . Large supermarkets outlets now want to be seen as animal and UK farmer friendly so look for advice from animal welfare groups, vets, health & safety  and reprehensive farmers groups. The milk buyers now in the UK say where farmers can sell your calves, monitor what drugs farmers  use, promote open farm days for the general public to see happy grass feed  cows and compulsory send auditors in to monitor farmers profits. What now is happening is that the supermarkets are requesting the suppliers of other milk based products also abide by the same standards if they want to be on the supermarket shelves.

Supermarkets want to be in front of the competitors. 6 months ago one supermarket in the UK requested that dairy cow mobility scoring be done by a registered person and now farms with high lameness will get penalized on the farmers milk pence per litre if over a set standard of expectable  lameness and a registered person mobility scoring can be monitored and evaluated if inconsistent.

A few members of the UK foot trimmers association “NACFT” are on the supermarket advisory panels and gained the opportunity “before other organisation did” for the NACFT to manage the mobility scoring register and qualification. The qualification in open to anyone wishing to be a mobility scoring person not just hoof trimmers.

We all know it is a matter of time before UK supermarkets implement that all milk produces have registered hoof trimmers on farm, two are already recommending and advising on how to find registered hoof trimmers and mobility scoring persons. We have been told soon supermarkets will advertise monitoring  lameness and penalise poor welfare which looks good for the general public purchasing milk in their stores if the store is proactive welfare.


Registered Mobility Scoring for Waitrose, Tesco & Sainsburys

Due to significant interest in the industry to supply highly qualified independent mobility scorers, the National Association of Cattle Foot Trimmers is organising the first of a series of exam days on Cattle Mobility Scoring.

The Cattle Mobility Scoring Exam Day is aimed for those who have experience in cattle locomotion and would like to improve the range of services to their clients. It would also be suitable for those who aim to supply independent twice-yearly mobility scoring to dairy herds on supermarket contracts.
The Hoofman now has a registered for mobility scoring for Supermarket milk contracts holders. Sainsbury's, Tesco's & Waitrose

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Hoofman mugs

To all the Hoofman customers please read instructions on the back of the Hoofman mugs when offering refreshments

Monday, 17 October 2016

Wopa 51 Sold

Three years old and 31600 cows on the clock and looks as good as the day it was delivered to the William Denny at the Hoofman. So easy to sell only losing £6000 from new. Well done William for keeping it so well maintained.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

All4feet insight

Don't know what you know about the all4feet program but in Feb 2015 I had a plan, Nov 2015 I had my first demo tablet and Jan 2016 we had 6 tables working together. Feb 2016 sold the first tablet. Now we have 28 tablets to hoof trimmers with over 100,000 cows recorded already and 3000 farm reports.
It's like building a house, plans, footings and build. It is a three year build and we have a site, tablet and program with each month a small update version going out to all tablets, sometimes the trimmers site or the tablet. This month is the farmer recording tablet managed by the hoof trimmer. Next month new look face for the tablet and mobility scoring. November invoicing and printer which I am trialing now, Dec hope to go back to the site and make it more interactive for farmers and consultants as the we should have 150,000 cows data to use. Next year I hope to be transfusing data to and from other dairy management sites and someone to use the data to help with the improvement of dairy cow welfare.
There is only one program and those who purchased it in February will have the same app to the person who purchases one in three years time. The tablet is designed by hoof trimmers, the site by vets and consultants and totally managed by a computer development company.
The All4feet recording program can be used all over the world
Hope that gives you a better insight into the future plan of   ALL4FEET Ltd

Saturday, 17 September 2016



1.   I talk to myself, because sometimes I need expert advice.

2.   Sometimes I roll my eyes out loud. Well, actually, I do it a lot!

3.   I don’t need anger management. I need people to stop pissing me off.

4.   My people skills are just fine. It’s my tolerance of idiots that needs work.

5.   The biggest lie I tell myself is, “I don’t need to write that down. I’ll remember it.”

6.   When I was a child I thought nap time was punishment. Now it’s like a mini vacation.

7.   The day the world runs out of  tea is just too terrible to think about.

8.   Even duct tape can’t fix stupid, but it can muffle the sound!

9.   Wouldn’t it be great if we could put ourselves in the dryer for 10 minutes; come out wrinkle-free and three sizes smaller? 

10.  If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would’ve put them on my knees.

11.  When the kids text me “plz” which is shorter than please. I text back “no” which is shorter than “yes”.

12.  At my age “getting lucky” means walking into a room and remembering what I came in there for.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

The Hoofman now invoices on the day

The Hoofman now invoices on the day with the All4feet Program as well as an up to date price list of all products sold by the Hoofman. Invoices can be printed off and a PDF copy is emailed to the farm account and the the Hoofman accounts. Hoof reports and mobility scoring can now be printed on farm with a added cost  of £2 a days report.

The Hoofman start to print invoices on farm

High quality A4 printing on the move

The All4feet  mobile printers finally offer businesses a reliable way of producing high quality A4 sized prints wherever and whenever they are required. Featuring direct thermal printing, this technology is considered by many to be the only reliable solution for mobile print applications. And as no ink, toner or ribbons are used, this ensures hoof trimmers don't have to source expensive replacements when they run out - the only consumable used is the paper itself.

Compact and lightweight

Despite its incredibly small size and lightweight design, the development and manufacturing process has been focussed on producing a durable, professional printer that can be carried in a computer bag, or permanently mounted in a vehicle.


Bluetooth and USB connectivity

Offering the flexibility of both wired or wireless connections means you can connect to a wide variety of devices such as Android tablets and smartphones and laptops.

Bluetooth data transmission is fast and secure thanks to Bluetooth

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Hoofman at Dairy 2016

Find Willy a snatch a free ticket then drop it in at the Hoofman Stand "F3"
Everyone's a winner!!!!

See you there !

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Keep lameness swept under the carpet

There are no reliable figures for the prevalence of lameness in the national dairy herd. However evidence from the Tubney Healthy Feet Project and the North West Mobility Project suggest an average of over 30% of cows in Mobility Score 2 and 3 in British dairy herds. If one in three cows are affected this means around 600,000 cows are experiencing moderate or severe discomfort.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Hoofman moves away from Wopa

Hoofman moves away from Wopa after 20 years and purchasing 23 crushes to 800-1 contractor KVK model.
William Denny will be the operator of the 1st KVK at the Hoofman and should be in use on farm by the end of September.

The reason for the change is as farms get bigger and the window for hoof trimming gets smaller on farm, we at the Hoofman  are looking at a hoof trimmer and assistant on every machine to help with cow flow and cow group management.
The KVK we think tick all the boxes to offer all our customers a better service with less stress on the cow and a hoof trimmer that can concentrate on hoof trimming and treatment, while the assistant can work along side a herdsman and hoof trimmer to make a efficient operation in on farm hoof trimming visit. 

New Product Zone at UK Dairy Day 2015

New Product Zone at UK Dairy Day 2015 being held at Telford on Wednesday 14th September. 

We received a large number of entries for this area which have been put forward to a shortlisting judging panel.  Following their review of all the entries received I am delighted to confirm that your entry has been shortlisted to be displayed at the event.

Each of the 10 shortlisted new products will be displayed in a dedicated area located in the Concourse after Costa Coffee outside the press office.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

New cattle hoof trimmers regulating body

The National Assocation of Cattle Foot Trimmers or NACFT  are delighted to announce the creation of the Register of Cattle Foot Trimmers which though created by the NACFT, will be autonomous, acting independently from the NACFT with its own powers, identity and website. 
NACFT  said “The NACFT committee have been listening hard to welfare groups, the AHDB Mobility Steering Group, supermarkets and milk wholesalers and we felt it was important to set up an independent advisory and disciplinary body that would represent and help protect the interests of milk producers.  As an association we have always believed that only properly qualified foot trimmers should be trimming the nation’s herds but a professional register of properly qualified foot trimmers that farmers could refer to and communicate with in this day and age, is very prescient.”

The Hoofman Team are licensed cattle foot trimmers and take a bi-annual industry-recognised Check Day exam to remain fully qualified and current. This exam and  the creation of the Register of Cattle Foot Trimmers will further set a bench mark of quality and confidence on which farmers, welfare groups and all other interested parties will be able to rely.

100,000 views on Youtube

Hoofman video hits 100,000 views on Youtube

Sunday, 29 May 2016

All4FEET.UK Update

All farmers will soon be receiving automatic notification e mail 2 days before and herdsmen a text message 24 hours of a upcoming visit with a list of animals that where request for rechecks from other hoof trimming visits as well as blocks applied after 5 weeks previous. Farmers on routine visits will receive e mails where animals are requested to be rechecked to the closes allocated visit date i.e. 3 month recheck.

Farmers recording tablet. Sold by the foot trimmer to his farmers and managed by the trimmer like his own employee with the only difference with the farmers tablet is that he can only view the allocated farms the trimmer allows. All tablets will have mobility scoring. The tablet will be identical to the trimmers own tablet including future updates

Monday, 16 May 2016

AHDB Meeting

The Future of Cattle Foot Trimming in the UK
Hi Charlie
On Tuesday 17th May we are holding a UK lameness discussion forum to review the findings of the lameness research conducted as part of the AHDB Dairy Research Partnership, associated research projects and other recent work in the field. As a recognised opinion leader on lameness control, or a representative of an organisation with key influence in the field, we would like to invite you to participate. Our aim is to ensure that recent work is made widely available, and interpreted appropriately to achieve an overall reduction in lameness in the national herd. 
This is a personal invitation; due to the nature of the event and space limitation I’m afraid we are not in a position to add additional participants. Whilst we appreciate that diaries can change, an indication of your willingness and availability to attend would be hugely appreciated at your earliest convenience.
With kind regards,
Jon Huxley (University of Nottingham)
Nick Bell (Royal Veterinary College)
Jenny Gibbons (AHDB Dairy)
Colin Mason (Scotland’s Rural College)
Becky Whay (University of Bristol)

Sunday, 15 May 2016

All4feet Program

ALL4FEET  We have been computer recording hoof reports for 10 years on hoof trimming farm visits and now have purchased a new program with more detail digital information and notification for you the customer.
This program has been designed to allow you to share detailed hoof reports via the internet with your team of Consultants, Farm Manager, Herdsman, Vets, Nutritionist, Students, Farm Assurance and Milk buyers with individuals access controlled by you, this in turn promotes an immediate response to problems, concerns and taking urgent recommended action form your consultants will promote animal welfare and increase profits.
With graphs that high light concerns, the ability to view photos, to compare reports from previous trimmings, to research individual animals, retrieve and use detailed recorded data, to upload data and transfer the data to other relevant internet sites if required or requested. Automatic e mail to all parties informing of updated reports, a text notifications for treatments, recommendations and routine visits reminders with an individual online diary to view all through the internet.
This is a free service we provide, sharing this information with all your consultants can only improve the management of your business. All we require is you to forward e mail address of who you would require to view this information and we will do the rest. 

Hoofman Team

The Hoofman team specialise in cow hoof trimming. Professionally known as Bovine Claw Technicians, who’s main aim is to correctly trim and balance the weight bearing surface on the bovine hoof. Hoof trimming cows is done in order to correct posture, mobility and/or alleviate pain, using specialist tools and equipment. This in turn promotes better animal welfare, performance and profitability by trained and qualified operatives.

The Hoofman Ltd started in the business of cow hoof trimming in 1995 when Charlie Harding attended a 4 day Dutch Claw Trimming course at the Willows Vet Practice in Cheshire. The first year he performed cow hoof trimming on 769 cows in total then the next year he purchased one of the first hydraulic trimming crates and started to increase his hoof trimming throughout and knowledge of cow claw ailments. The Hoofman to date have purchased over 20 Wopa contractor model crushes

In 1998 he joined the newly formed National Association of Cattle Foot Trimmers and soon became an active member on the committee. The main aims of the Association have been to bring together cow hoof trimmers and interested parties to disseminate information especially in the light of the present welfare changes in farming. The Association has continually increased in credibility and is recognised and respected by The Veterinary Associations, Animal Welfare organisations and cow Hoof Trimming Associations from around the world. The Association has improved professionalism within the trade and encouraged foot trimmers to take their training further. Bovine Claw Technicians are now reassessed every 2 years to correct bad habits and to encourage a better standard of hoof trimming.