The foot and hoof care of your livestock plays an extremely important part in their overall health. If you can implement a strong and regular foot bathing and hygiene regimen for your livestock you can help to improve general standards of cleanliness on the farm, ward off the chances of infection and illness, and have strong barriers in place to prevent the spread of disease. There are a few different ways you can approach foot bathing, but what you should always have in mind is that the higher the quality of foot bathing solutions that you purchase, the higher then chances you have of maintaining good standards of hygiene and health for your livestock.
There are various ways in which you can reduce levels of lameness in your herd and to prevent the losses associated with lameness. Infectious lameness is difficult to contend with, which is why it is important to have a strong level of protocol and hygiene products in place for foot bathing and hoof care as a preventative measure. Foot bathing is a recommended process for all farms, as it is a great way to help reduce the risks of infectious hoof disease.
Foot bathing is also an important step when you are faced with the outbreak of disease, as it prevents chronic infection. Alongside this they should always be used as a routine measure to control diseases, but never as a cure. Hoof management can be incredibly complex, and good foot bathing solutions help to manage this process, but it should always be used as part of a wider network of solutions and good hygiene practice on a farm.
Footbaths can sometimes be used as a way of adding antibiotics into the equation, with some veterinarians prescribing antibiotics to be used within foot baths, but this can often be an expensive approach, and also involved a period of milk withdrawal, which isn’t attractive.
The location of the implementation of the foot bath is also a curious one. It should always be in the exit lane, where there is enough space to treat each animal without causing a bottle neck of moving animals, as this can cause distress to the wider herd. A foot bath can also be placed in between the rest areas and the feeding areas if this fits with the specifications of a farm without harming the wellbeing of the animals.
For the best results, foot baths should be used once or twice a week, although if the herd is experiencing higher levels of disease this rate should be increased to three or four times a week. Always consult with a veterinarian before committing to a foot bath schedule, however.
Remember, it is important to have access to the highest quality of livestock health and hygiene products for all aspects of your farm, and this is the same for foot bathing and livestock hygiene. Choose a supplier of livestock health products with experience of the industry and a commitment to continuous analysis and evolution of products to maintain a trajectory of improvement. With this approach you can ensure that the foot bathing solutions you are implementing for your herd will help to maximise herd health, maximise productivity on the farm, and increase profitability.