Hoofsure Endurance reduces lameness for Armoy farmer

Arthur Hanna, who runs 130 Holstein Friesian cows in Armoy, Co Antrim, recently availed of Provita Hoofsure HELP service.  Lameness is a major challenge in dairy herds across the globe.  Infectious conditions are the biggest contributor towards lameness, with Digital Dermatitis (DD) the most commonly seen condition which can spread quickly throughout the entire herd if left unmanaged.  This painful infection affects the skin around the hoof mainly at the back of the cleft between the claws and due claw.  Lameness reduces mobility, comfort, feed intake, milk yield, fertility and ultimately gross margin.  Milk yield can be reduced by at least 1 litre per cow per day.

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Provita products improving profitability with better silage and footbathing

Provita hosted a series of on farm demos throughout Northern Ireland last week outlining the benefits of making better silage and improving footbathing practices.  Andrew Dale in Limavady, Dean Wright in Portadown and Declan Rafferty in Pomeroy were host farms.

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Provita Hoofsure HELP service demo – Reducing lameness and improving profitability

The demonstration hosted by Pat Lenehan and his nephew Pete was well attended by farmers with lameness problems on their farm.  Not all of them footbath regularly or have a system set up to allow regular footbathing.  Pat and Pete milk 70 cows in Crossmaglen.  When they were installing a new parlour, they contacted Provita rep Kieran Donnelly to arrange a no obligation visit to action Provita’s Hoofsure Endurance Lameness Programme HELP to advise them on their footbathing set-up.  They wanted a system that would minimise disruption to milking and allow good cow flow.  Following consultation with Kieran, the pre-cast concrete footbath set-up allowed a full side of cows to exit the parlour before they reached the footbath which allows more dominant cows to walk through more rapidly and the more hesitant cows to have space and go through at their own pace.  Cows are footbathed at every evening milking.  When Kieran scored the herd for digital dermatitis (DD) as part of the HELP service, the vast majority had DD.  A protocol with high concentration of Hoofsure Endurance footbath solution was put in place for 2 months with positive results visible within 2 weeks into the programme – active DD reduced from 85% to 20%%.  Once DD levels were low with infection pressure down, the concentration of Hoofsure Endurance used each evening has reduced.

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Provita Hoofsure Endurance in another successful semi-automated system

 Pat Mc Guire runs an autumn calving grazing herd in Rock near Dungannon, Co Tyrone. He is focused on efficiency and managing his cows to target 7000 litres on 1.5 t of meal. When reviewing the herd health plan with his veterinary practice Parklands Veterinary Group an easy to use footbathing system was identified as being needed on the farm. When Digital Dermatitis (DD) first took hold 3/4 of the cows had a problem.


Previously the farm had used a plastic bath with ridges, however cows were reluctant to go through it no matter how many times it was used. Various products including antibiotic footbaths were used but they didn’t work.


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How do you solve a problem like footbathing?

Members of the technical team at Provita are fully aware of the fact that footbathing can often be a tedious job. In addition, it is very difficult to ensure that the dilution rate is correct in every footbath. Studies have shown that 93% of footbaths are used incorrectly. Also the handling of chemicals can be dangerous.

Provita are currently offering a bespoke semi-automated system which can help solve the problems which come with footbathing. The system can be tailored to the farm’s specific requirements and each of the elements below can be customised to suit your farm.

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Provita launches Digital Dermatitis App

Provita has launched a new Digital Dermatitis (DD) app, which dairy farmers can download to their phone by simply filling out a form on the Provita website. The new app which is available for IOS and Android systems was launched at the recent UK Dairy Day, held in Telford, Shropshire.

 “We got a tremendous response from farmers who attended the show,” confirmed Provita’s Tommy Armstrong.

 “And we are expecting a strong demand for the app from dairy farmers in Northern Ireland over the coming months.

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New Hoofsure HELP service from Provita

Research from DairyCo shows that lameness can be successfully reduced by up to 70% through effective footbathing. It can be assumed that with the average UK milk output per cow and average herd size having increased by approximately 20% and 30% respectively in the last 10 years alone, lameness levels and stress on cows feet will also rise (Dairy Co Datum 2014).

The role of the veterinarian in reducing lameness levels has been discussed at recent conferences such as at the Cattle Lameness Conference 2015 and International Lameness Conference 2013, in Bristol. It has been suggested that not only has the size and shape of farms altered but so have the roles and responsibilities of farm owners, workers as well as vets and other contractors (Alcock, 2015). 

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