Lameness is having a significant impact
Lameness is having a significant impact for a number of farmers this year. Padraig McCarthy, of Lixnaw, Co Kerry had a number of cases of mortellaro's disease (digital dermatitis) at the start of calving and puts this down to the wet of last year and the long housing period.
Padraig lifted any case, washed it, pared off any excess hoof, and sprayed it with Provita by Hoofsure, combined with an injection of long-acting antibiotic.
Dermot Heaney from Navan also had concerns over the number of cows that had been lame over the past few months.
With a hoof pare specialist coming in once a month the problems had varied from mortellaro to foot rot to white line disease.
In comparison, Moorehill Farms, Lismore, Co Waterford had significantly reduced the lameness problem from 2012 by regularly foot bathing and up-grading the roads.
Mike Quinn, Killimor, Co Galway also found foot bathing freshly calved cows to be very effective in keeping on top of lameness problems.
Lameness is a significant problem on dairy farms if more than 5pc of the first calvers or more than 5pc of the older cows become lame between calving and week six of mating.
When dealing with lame cows it's important to treat them promptly and safely, while ensuring they have easy access to sufficient high quality feed to minimise body condition loss.