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Hoof Trimming Maintenance and Protocol

This complementary guide to hoof trimming for cows will tell you more about proper maintenance and protocol. Trim-Tec offers hoof trimming equipment that makes it easy to give your cattle the proper trim and keep them healthy and happy. Read through this guide and then place an order for the cow hoof trimming tools you need in our online store. 

Maintenance and Protocol for Hoof Trimming

As we have recently discussed, the frequency of hoof trimming is based on a number of factors. For example, increased concrete exposure will require more frequent trimmings; perhaps up to three times a year as oppose to increased soil exposure and quality exercise in which annual trimmings are usually sufficient. It should be noted that an implementation of a maintenance hoof trimming program will keep all cows marketable from a hoof perspective. The following is a sufficient trimming procedure:screenshot-4.png

  • Look for a claw length to be between 3 and 31/2 inches based on the size of the cow; when trimmed three times a year, cows will maintain this proper length.
  • Attempt to shape the claw to match the pedal bone by giving the sidewall a slight divot.
  • Make certain the non-working claw matches the working claw in length.
  • Pare the entire bottom, from heel to toe, to match the height of the working claw.
  • Excess horn in the solar area should be cleaned and the sidewall should be given a slight divot.

The structure and health of the hoof is a primary factor that will determine how well a cow milks, eats and breeds. That is, the correlation between the health of the hoof and the overall health of the cow is undeniable. The healthier the hoof, the longer a cow will remain a productive member of a herd. Your hoof trimming tool is a valuable resource when it comes to the integrity of the herd.  

Nutrition as it is Related to Hoof Integrity

The supplement biotin has long been recognized as an beneficial and essential nutrient for hoof integrity. The rumen only manages to produce about 2 to 4 milligrams of biotin per day and this level diminishes as levels of grain rations increases. That is, a dairy cow receiving a typical grain ration of 50 percent or more will experience lower biotin levels.

The tissue of the hoof requires several other nutrients  in order to form a normal horn. These nutrients include vitamins A and D, zinc, copper, calcium magnesium, phosphorus and the ever-important amino acids. Horn formation will be impaired if any of these essential nutrients are in marginal supply. It is critical that any nutritional management program provide a balanced nutrition to promote hoof health.

Cow lameness is a multi-factor disorder that affects cattle and optimal nutrition is a critical factor in improving hoof health. Therefore, supplements like biotin and vitamin B should be a part of an overall hoof health management program.


To maintain maximum hoof health in cattle, proper and regular hoof trimming needs to occur. It is also highly recommended that herds receive optimal nutrition as well as the necessary supplements needed for overall hoof health. At Trim Tec, we carry all the necessary supplies you need to keep your herd’s hooves trimmed and healthy. From hoof trimming blades to complete hoof trimming kits, we have the hoof trimming tool best suited for your specific needs.