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Hanneke van Kooten is a trained provider who can assist you when you join the Healthy Hoof Programme.

Hanneke is an accredited, qualified professional vet who has attended specialist Healthy Hoof workshops.

As part of the Healthy Hoof Programme, you will work with one of these professional vets.

 

Introduction

The healthy hoof programme (HHP) is a programme developed by DairyNZ over the last few years and focuses on the prevention of lameness. It consists of several stages that will take about a year to complete and can be continued after that year. It’s carried out by providers, originating from veterinary clinics, which have been trained by DairyNZ.

 

The steps in the programme are as follows:

  • Diagnosis and action plan. The first contact between a farmer and the provider starts with a brief interview to assess the farm and cow management. Afterwards the provider will be present on the farm while the cows are being brought in and during milking. Observations during this time and the information from the interview will help the provider in creating an action plan which highlights factors that are likely to contribute to the lameness problem and offers recommended solutions.
  • Skill development, divided into two parts. The first part is prevention training. All staff will have to be present during this training. Topics like lame cow identification, types of lameness, stockmanship improvements and causes of lameness will be discussed. The second part is treatment training and involves the staff dealing with treatment of lame cows. Knife sharpening, identification of a lame cow and the structures in a cows claw, proper tying up of feet, attaching a cowslip/block and different types of lameness will be discussed and, where possible, practiced.
  • Monitoring and recording of lame cows. This is very important as it provides information about progress in reducing lameness and gives you an idea about the main lameness problems present on the farm as well as repeat offenders.
  • Six monthly update. All records will be reviewed by the provider after 6 months and highlight improvements or ongoing problems.
  • Review the season and renew action plan. Progress on the farm will be reviewed at the end of the season and a new action plan can be developed for the coming season.

 

With the programme comes a toolkit with information and posters about identifying lame cows, identifying structures in the claw, the different types of lameness, recording sheets and basically everything that will be discussed with the provider.

 

For the last two years it has been trialed on over 30 farms around New Zealand and on these farms it has increased awareness, knowledge of lame cow treatment, identification of key factors for improvement and aided in the design of new sheds.

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