Hoofcount is celebrating 10 years in business, summer 2022. We have developed a great relationship with so many farmers over the years.
WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS SAY…
2012 – We wanted an easy to use, reliable footbath, and that’s what we got; we installed Hoofcount’s first ever footbath and for 10 years, it’s consistently done what it says on the tin, and is one of those systems we now take for granted, and it keeps digital dermatitis at bay within the herd.
2013 – Hoofcount was the only company that could deliver when we introduced three robotic milking systems and needed a footbath to fit into a tight space. It’s the most basic design, simple to operate and fits the system. Backup service is quick and efficient. Our Hoofcount footbath has removed one job for us while maintaining herd digital dermatitis incidence around the 3% mark.
2014 – We went from running the cows through a manual bath once a week to footbathing every day through our Excel Hoofcount footbath. It’s made the job a lot easier and safer for us while, for the cows, frequent walking through a solution that’s automatically replenished every 100 to 150 cows depending on season has helped cut digital dermatitis by around 50% to less than 10% incidents within the herd.
2015 – Our three Hoofcount footbaths positioned at the robot exits are doing a great job – they’re definitely helping to control digital dermatitis; nowadays we have very, very few incidences compared with when we had a concrete bath. We considered several footbaths before we chose Hoofcount for its unique automatic emptying and refilling. Aftersales service is also excellent.
2016 – Our Hoofcount footbath is our most reliable piece of kit installed on farm. It makes footbathing simple and effortless a ‘must have’ piece of equipment for all farms. We’ve had brilliant service from day 1 from HOOFCOUNT.
2017 – We’ve installed four Hoofcount footbaths, one at the exit to each of our robotic milking systems; they were straight forward to install, the right size and easy to use. We rarely see a case of digital dermatitis and have a very good mobility score. We’re putting in a fifth milking robot and an accompanying fifth Hoofcount footbath.
Taking a whole herd approach combined with consistent management is enabling us to maintain digital dermatitis to less than 1% in our 2,600 cow herd. The last thing we want is a freshly calved cow or heifer to have digital dermatitis – that would become an issue, so we avoid it.
We go above and beyond industry standard assurances to constantly improve our welfare, sustainability, milk safety and quality. Adhering to protocol we introduced eight years ago, combined with a staff training programme and investing in some of the latest technologies are all enabling us to head towards our zero-lameness goal. Whilst digital dermatitis stands below 1%, overall herd lameness currently amounts to less than 4%.
- Replacement heifers nine months and over, which are housed on separate unit, are run through a 3.7m Hoofcount footbath twice a week.
- Dry cows similarly run through a separate Hoofcount controlled footbath.
- All milking team members consistently look out for any signs of digital dermatitis or other signs of lameness.
- Any signs of a lameness incident is flagged up in WhatsApp group for one of the Grosvenor farms’ in-house foot trimmers to check out the next day.
- Every foot is routinely picked up twice a year.
- A clean working environment is maintained; 5m wide passageways are scraped three times a day, with a tractor and box scraper.
- Slurry build up is minimised by flood washing the collecting yard between the seven milking groups. The exit from the parlour and on to the footbaths has a slatted rubberised walkway to ensure minimal slurry build up.
Having a reliable fully automatic footbath is one of the most vital elements. We swapped a footbath we couldn’t depend on for two Hoofcount 3.7m double Excel automatic footbaths in 2019. We positioned them side by side at the milking parlour exit which the main herd is run through twice a day. 3.7m ensures good foot washing – at least three dunks for each hind foot. Using the right chemical at the right level of concentration is also important; we use a 2% formalin-based solution.
2018 – We had digital dermatitis issues on our farm for years. Footbaths on the robot exits weren’t made enough to prevent new spread, so I went online and searched for automated footbaths. Hoofcount popped up but was located in the UK. We contacted Anthony Marsh via email and set up a meeting. When Anthony came to Canada we knew right away it was the right bath for us. We were one of the first farms in Canada to use the Hoofcount footbath, so far we’ve had them installed for about four and a half years with no issues. Cows have near zero DD and we are very happy with the footbaths. We would recommend to any robot farm.
2019 – We’d been using a formalin manual footbath for years, but we wanted a safer way to manage particularly since we are milking a lot of cows quickly through a rotary parlour. Hoofcount footbaths are providing the answer and helping to maintain digital dermatitis at virtually zero.
2020 – Hoofcount has changed the way we look after our cows. We have less emergency repairs and spend more time doing maintenance trimming. The bath helps the cows repair themselves.
2021 – The footbath instalment was superb – everything from plumbing to electrics was taken care of; 12 hours later with a two minute crash course and I instantly knew my herd should have benefitted from this kit years ago. There’s been almost 100% removal of time spent emptying and filling our old manual bath, a good response to lowering digital dermatitis levels, followed by a steady decline in other feet issues. Investing in Hoofcount technology for your herd is a complete no brainer.
2022 – We’ve installed an Excel Hoofcount footbath into a sort gate. It’s designed well and long enough for three dips per hoof. We set it to automatically refill after 120 cows; it cleans out well, fills fast and its efficient and reliable. It’s doing a good job minimising digital dermatitis in the herd.
Less than 1% of our cows enter the milking herd with digital dermatitis and that level is maintained throughout lactation. Furthermore, less than 3% of the herd is culled for lameness thanks to our strategic whole herd approach to lameness control starting with the young stock. Attention to detail is paramount.
Footbathing every heifer 12 months of age and over, four times a week is a routine job, it takes just two hours in total and we believe it’s time well spent.
- All heifers aged 12 months and over together with all the far-off dry cows are footbathed four times a week.
- Each morning we wash all the cows’ feet off with a volume washer.
- We routinely monitor for lameness during every milking.
- All in milk cows and heifers are footbathed through a Hoofcount 3.7m Excel bath two times a day, everyday. The footbath refreshes itself after every 150 cows and automatically varies the solution concentration – four days at 1.5% formalin, and three at 2.5% formalin.
- Mobility scoring is carried out quarterly to meet milk contract requirements.
- Routine hoof trimming is carried out with every in-milk cow before she reaches 150 days into lactation and again before going dry.
Preventing infection by adopting an effective regular footbathing regime, is made easy with the Hoofcount system which we installed in 2014, and it’s something we could never manage without as part of our effective lameness control.