Hoof Health Overview

Locomotion Scoring

Hoof Trimming

Lesion Identification

Extension Articles

Research Highlights

project partners:

Project Sponsors Alberta Milk Alberta Farm Animal Care University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine UBC Animal Welfare Program Westgen Zinpro Performance Minerals Agriculture & Food Council Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada Dairy Farmers of Canada Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency

Latest Developments:

A Web-based Lesion Identification Application

Users of Hoof Supervisor® (HS) lesion recording software have an excellent pictorial, touch-screen based system for selecting hoof lesions, based on the claw zone where they appear. For others wanting to identify and deal with a lesion they see on inspection of a hoof, a web-based lesion selector similar to that used in the HS system will be helpful. The web-based application is available here. In the near future, a smartphone app version of the Guide will be released.

Web-based version of Lesion Severity Guide for Hoof Supervisor® users

The Hoof Supervisor® lesion recording system allows trimmers to rate lesion severity on a 3-point scale. To assist trimmers to more consistently score lesion severity, Alberta hoof trimmers created a Lesion Severity Scoring Guide containing example photos of each of 3 severity scores for 14 lesions. A pdf version of the Guide is here. A web app version is here.

Hoof Health Projects contribute data to research evaluating genetics of hoof lesions

Based on the analysis of hoof health data from projects conducted in Alberta and Ontario, researchers at the Universities of Guelph and British Columbia have published a paper in the April 2013 issue of the Journal of Dairy Science entitled "Genetic parameters for hoof lesions and their relationship with feet and leg traits in Canadian Holstein cows". To read the paper, click here.

New Functional Foot Care Video

The University of Zurich, Switzerland has produced an excellent 21 minute video dealing with the anatomy and biomechanics of the bovine foot along with a detailed description of functional claw trimming. To access the video, click here.

2013 Western Canadian Dairy Seminar features five presentations on dairy cattle lameness

The 2013 Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, held March 5-8 in Red Deer, featured 5 presentations relating to dairy cattle lameness. To access these articles, click here.

Results point to high prevalence of Digital Dermatitis and Claw Horn Disruption

As of November 30, 2012, 578 herds in 3 provinces had contributed trim records and DHI data to The Alberta Dairy Hoof Health Project's hoof health database, providing trim records for 80,533 individual cows. In Alberta, 50.9% of these cows had one or more of the 14 claw lesions being evaluated by hoof trimmers. In BC, 59.8% of cows trimmed had one or more lesions while, in Ontario, only 38.1% had lesions. For more details, click here.

Ontario trimmers release final project report

The final report, documenting results of the Ontario Dairy Hoof Health Project entitled 'Digital Dermatitis and Biosecurity Measures in Ontario Dairy Herds', is available here.

Alberta, BC and Ontario trimmers attend certification courses instructed by Pieter Kloosterman

For over 30 years, Pieter Kloosterman, with the Dutch PTC+ Animal Husbandry Training Centre, has travelled the world teaching hoof care and functional hoof trimming. This past summer, Pieter taught advanced trimmer certification courses in Alberta, Ontario and the US. For the full story from the Hoof Trimmers Association newsletter, click here.

Establishment of a Hoof Health Data Collection System for Canadian Dairy Cattle

The Canadian Dairy Network has initiated a project to establish a hoof health data collection system for dairy cattle in Canada. The objective of this project is to carry out the ground work to prepare a full proposal for the collection of standardized data on hoof health across Canada based on hoof trimmer recording. more…

Leading Ontario hoof trimmer advocates 'Rethinking Lameness'

After more than 28 years working as a hoof trimmer in the dairy industry Vic Daniel asks the question: “Why is lameness increasing as an issue?”. Vic says that the modern dairy industry still has not recognized the requirements for the hoof to function “normally”. Read more about his perspective on the issue here

…and read Dr. Paul Greenough’s thoughts on the issue here.

BC Dairy Hoof Health Group sponsors BC Dairy Expo seminar and hoof trimmer workshop

Dr. Jan Shearer, one of North America's leading experts on dairy cattle hoof health, made 2 presentations on the topic at the 2012 BC Dairy Expo on January 26 and was a keynote speaker at a workshop for hoof trimmers the following day at the UBC farm in Agassiz. To read about these events and what Dr. Shearer had to say, click here.

BC Dairy Hoof Health Group defines objectives and plans future activitiesBC Dairy Hoof Health Group logo

The BC Dairy Hoof Health Group has evolved to include 18 enthusiastic, motivated and knowledgeable members from every aspect of the dairy industry, focused on improving the state of hoof health on BC dairies. To read about the Group's objectives and future plans, click here.

Ontario Hoof Trimmers Guild launches Digital Dermatitis biosecurity project

In October 2011, the Ontario Hoof Trimmers Guild (OHTG) launched the Ontario Dairy Hoof Health Project. This one-year project involves 10 OHTG trimmers utilizing the Hoof Supervisor® System to record hoof lesion data on 30,000 cows in 300 dairy herds. An article in the December 2011 issue of the Milk Producer magazine describing the project is available here.

Western Dairy Farmer magazine reports on Project progress

A lead article in the September 2011 issue of Western Dairy Farmer describes the Alberta Dairy Hoof Health Project and other Canadian initiatives to improve dairy cattle welfare. The complete article is available here.

Temple Grandin speaks bluntly about lameness

In an interview with Dairy Herd Management magazine, noted animal-welfare expert Temple Grandin pinpointed lameness is the single largest animal-welfare issue facing the US dairy industry today. A summary of Dr. Grandin's remarks is available by clicking here.

Manitoba hoof trimmer advocates improved hoof care through accurate records

Jamie Sullivan (Rippleview Hoof Care, Carman MB) was the first hoof trimmer in Canada to adopt the Hoof Supervisor® lesion recording system. In an article published in the March 15 issue of Progressive Dairyman magazine, Jamie describes how he uses Hoof Supervisor®, in conjunction with DairyComp 305, to schedule and accurately record trimming in his clients' herds. The complete article is available by clicking here.

Practical strategies to improve hoof health presented at 2011 WCDS

At the 2011 Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, held March 8-11 in Red Deer, Dr. Gerard Cramer, a prominent dairy hoof health veterinarian from Ontario, recommended practical ways to prevent lameness. more...

Holstein Canada shares classification data

Holstein Canada has agreed to share classification data with The Alberta Dairy Hoof Health Project, facilitating analysis of relationships between hoof lesion incidence and conformation scores for feet & legs. more...

BC hoof trimmers join Hoof Health Project

Seven hoof trimmers in British Columbia have adopted the Hoof Supervisor® lesion recording system, 6 of these with the help of financial support from Westgen, the BC Milk Producers' Association and the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC. more...

MilkProducer magazine features article about Hoof Supervisor® adoption in Ontario

The September 2010 issue of Dairy Farmers of Ontario's monthly magazine (MilkProducer) featured an article about the adoption of the Hoof Supervisor® system by by Vic Daniel, speaker of the Ontario Hoof Trimmers' Guild. To read the article click here.

Researchers launch multi-province initiative to examine lameness risk factors

Thanks to funding allocated by Dairy Farmers of Canada, a research project aimed at "Improving cow comfort to increase longevity" will examine risk factors that influence lameness and other disorders among dairy herds in Québec, Ontario and Alberta. For more details, click here.

Hoof Health presentations at the 2010 Western Canadian Dairy Seminar

The 2010 Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, held March 9-13 in Red Deer, Alberta featured 2 talks on Hoof Health presented by Christer Bergsten from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. To view the proceedings articles for those presentations, click here.

Project receives support from Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program

The Alberta Dairy Hoof Health Project has been awarded a grant of $227,180 from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP). For more details, click here.

Hoof Supervisor® chosen as one of top-10 new products by World Ag Expo

World Ag Expo has chosen Hoof Supervisor® as one of its top-10 new products for 2010. Winners will be showcased February 9-11, 2010 during the 43rd annual World Ag Expo in Tulare, California. For the full-story, click here.

Western Dairy Farmer magazine features Alberta Dairy Hoof Health Project

The lead article in the November-December 2009 issue of Western Dairy Farmer magazine features an interview with Philip Spence, one of the 7 Alberta hoof trimmers using the Hoof Supervisor® system and participating in the Project. To view the complete article, click here.

Ontario Hoof Trimmers Follow Alberta Lead

At their annual conference, held June 12th and 13th, 2009 in Peterborough, the Ontario Hoof Trimmers' Guild overwhelmingly supported a motion to adopt the lesion identification system proposed by the International Lameness Committee. more...

Alberta and British Columbia Veterinarians Hold Hoof Health Symposium

In direct response to the initiation of The Alberta Dairy Hoof Health Project, the Alberta and British Columbia Veterinary Medical Associations organized a Bovine Hoof Health Symposium as part of their 2009 CanWest Veterinary Conference, held October 17-20, 2009 in Banff, Alberta. more...

Project receives funding from Alberta Farm Animal Care

Alberta Farm Animal Care has announced a $25,000 funding contribution to The Alberta Dairy Hoof Health Project. more...

Hoof Trimmers adopt Hoof Supervisor technology

Seven Alberta hoof trimmers have responded to incentives to adopt Hoof Supervisor® lesion recording systems - rugged touch-screen computer technology that facilitates the identification of hoof lesions compliant with the new International Standard Classification system. more...

Speakers at the 2009 Western Canadian Dairy Seminar address hoof health issues

Karl Burgi of the Wisconsin-based Dairyland Hoof Care Institute focused on the importance of raising heifers with healthy hooves while Dr. Jeff Rushen with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada described flooring options to minimize lameness. more...