Colder weather will be here before we know it! As the temperatures decrease and winter approaches, winter problems come with them. One common winter occurrence is more hoof problems.
Over the colder months, cows are indoors more often and for longer periods of time. Winter also brings in wetter weather and wetter environments. These wet environments are the perfect conditions for causing more problems. Foot rot, cracking, and poor hoof health can cause a lot of animal discomfort, which will have a significant impact on animal performance. The best way to battle hoof issues is by starting with healthy, hard hooves. Good nutrition plays a crucial role in maintaining hoof health!
Hooves are made up of keratin, which is a fibrous protein made of amino acids that form twisted strands giving the hoof strength and elasticity. These strands are linked together with sulfur bonds and sulfur-containing amino acids to provide the hoof with strength. Some essential nutrients that are important for hoof health are:
- Zinc is important for the formation of keratin, which is crucial for hoof growth and maintenance. It also plays an important role in the formation of an enzyme that helps with the fats and oil of the hoof. These fats and oils prevent the hooves from becoming dry and brittle.
- Copper is crucial for the formation of crosslinks in the keratin that keep the hoof strong and hard.
- Selenium plays an antioxidant role in the hoof, which protects the oils and fats from oxidation. This helps keep the hooves from getting dry and cracking.
- Manganese is important for the health of the hoof cell membrane.
- Iodine has been shown to prevent hoof rot. Kelp meal is a natural source of iodine. Kelp has other great trace minerals that help with hoof health.
- Biotin is a B vitamin that is important for hoof growth.
- Cobalt is beneficial for reproductive health. Lame cows have lower reproduction efficiency.
Fertrell’s Hoof Boost is a high-quality mineral mix with zinc, manganese, copper, cobalt, selenium, biotin, and kelp to help support hoof health. The best time to start feeding Hoof Boost is in September in preparation for winter months. Because hooves grow slowly, it will take a minimum of 30 days to see improvements. Full benefits are not seen until six months after using it.
Fertrell is offering 10% off our newest product Hoof Boost during the month of September 2020. Contact our office at 800-347-1566 or your local Fertrell Outlet for additional details or ordering.