Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 9

Q: Should cows be able to bypass a footbath?
A: On days when the footbath is not being used, cows should be able to
bypass permanent footbaths.

Table 1: Calculating Appropriate Footbath Volume (4-inch solution depth)

the upper edge of the bath, and the sides should be enclosed to create a
tunnel. Sloped walls (70 degrees recommended) make cows feel at ease,
not claustrophobic, without slowing down cow flow! In addition, solid
sides will save solution and help maintain a consistent solution depth.

Q: How high should the step-in height be?
A: A 10-inch step-in height is recommended. It has been proven that cows
have no problem with a curb of this height. The higher step-in height
increases the number of foot immersions in the bath.
Q: Is there a minimum depth of solution recommended?
A: To ensure full immersion of the hoof in solution, maintain a minimum
depth of 4 inches. If the solution is too shallow, it will not allow for
adequate penetration of the chemical solution into the interdigital space
between the claws. For more information about the appropriate footbath
volume (based on 4-inch solution depth), refer to Table 1.

Q: How frequently should a footbath be used?
A: Footbaths should be used on consecutive days each week, based on
hygiene scoring (Figure 1) or relapse rates of chronic DD cases. Foot and
leg hygiene will help determine the number of days required (Table 2).
Dirtier cows require more frequent footbathing. On non-footbath days,
keep hygiene in-check with a soap bath (1 quart of soap to 25 gallons of
water, one percent solution).

Q: How often should the footbath solution be changed?
A: A common industry standard is to change footbath solution after
every 100 to 300 cows. However, frequency will vary depending upon
cow hygiene scores, type of disinfectant or chemical concentration used,
weather conditions, and the prevalence of DD in the herd. Keep in mind
that manure deactivates chemicals used in footbaths. Be sure to alternate
times for replenishing footbaths with fresh solution so each group of cows
has access to fresh solution. In addition, it is important to thoroughly drain
the footbath and rinse it with water before mixing a new batch of solution.
Source: Footbath design and use recommendations are adapted from
paper published in The Veterinary Journal (Cook, et al., 2012) titled
"Observations on the Design and Use of Footbaths for the Control of
Infectious Hoof Disease in Dairy Cattle."
Table 2: Use Hygiene Scoring to Help Determine Ideal Footbath Frequency

Note: The recommended 10-inch step-in height differs from published
paper recommendation of 11-inch step-in height. Author of published
paper has stated this is acceptable from a practical in-field use standpoint.

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Perspectives - Winter 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Perspectives - Winter 2016

Contents
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - Cover1
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - Cover2
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - Contents
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 4
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 5
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