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Footbathing is a simple, cost effective process. It can prevent lameness, improve hoof health, and save you money in the long run. This week, we will outline simple steps on how to footbath correctly. We also have some useful tips on how to get the most out of your footbath routine.
It is easy to convince ourselves that just because we’ve filled a tank of water and solution prior to milking, that all the cows are treated. However, there are many factors that dictate a good, effective footbathing system.
- Cleanliness- Are the cows feet clean prior to entering the bath? If there is dirt entering, it will dilute the solution for the later cows entering the bath. A general rule of thumb, if the footbath looks dirty, then it is! Ideally a pre wash bath for the cows to walk through just before entering the solution is best. However if this is not possible, washing feet in the parlour helps.
- Dilution rate- Have you mixed the solution correctly? If you are investing in footbathing then there is no point in over-diluting. A common belief is that repetitive bathing with a very weak solution is more effective. This is not true. A solution diluted as per the manufacturer’s guidelines will work best. Similarly, it is important not to mix a solution too strong as it isn’t cost effective. It can also be harmful. It is also important to take the time to calculate the exact volume your footbath can hold.
- Footbath layout. Cows should take 3-4 steps in the bath. They should be free to enter the bath calmly, and should take 6-9 seconds in the bath. This means your footbath should be 3-4m in length. The footbath should be the full width of the passageway it sits in, to avoid cows feet slipping down either side of it.
You can find a useful article on footbathing here
Choosing the Correct Footbath Solution
In some cases, specific products are required to target specific issues on individual farms. Generally speaking,if you are experiencing severe lameness issues such as large digital dermatitis lesions throughout the herd,then you should not expect miracle results from footbathing. A more targeted programme should be chosen, such as in-parlour spraying with Intra-Hoof-fit spray liquid to bring the problem under control. After controlling the problem you can then manage it effectively with footbathing.
For general footbathing and maintaining hoof health, we recommend Intra-Hoof-fit Bath, alternating with Intra-Hoof-fit Clean and Control. The Intra-Hoof-fit range is particularly effective because:
- It is antibiotic free
- Copper and zinc based, so it penetrates the skin and works from the inside
- Highly cost effective
- Very safe and easy to use
- It does not contain formalin, which is scientifically proven to be cancer causing and seriously detrimental to health
We recently launched our range of Eko Foot Baths, which automatically tip, wash, and refill, making footbathing easier and more effective.
Speak to our team today for advice on footbathing, or on choosing a footbath for your system on +35387 090 0360 or email email@example.com