Hoof Trimming Chutes and Tools
Two of the main tools for hoof trimmers are the chute and the trimming wheel. There are two different kinds of chutes that trimmers use, depending on their personal preference. I use what is called the tilt bed.
On the tilt bed, the cow is laying on her side. The other kind, is a stand up chute. In the stand up chute the trimmer picks up each individual foot.
There are many different kinds of wheels, with different blade cutting configurations. Hoof trimmers are also very dependent upon a quality hoof knife. Having the correct tools make things safer and more efficient for both the hoof trimmer and the animal.
( click images for larger views)
The Riley Built truck mounted chute on the Back of my Truck
I was trained on a Riley Built chute, and I have always trimmed on one. For the first 16 years I used a trailer mounted chute. In early 2017 I finally went to a truck mounted chute which is shown in the photo below.
Most hoof trimmers use a similar rig for trimming cow hooves. A lot of people who have been around cows all their lives have never seen the apparatus work.
Trimming Hooves with the Riley Built Chute
This was my first cow to be trimmed in my new Riley Built chute. I really focus on cow flow into my system. Having the right equipment and set up make things easy on the cow, which makes life easy for the trimmer. These chutes are simple, well designed and easy to use.
Many people don’t realize the importance of trimming a cow's hoof. Just like horses, goats or any other animal that has a claw, they periodically need to be trimmed.
If a trimmer doesn’t maintain the hoof to the proper length, then they will usually break off on their own. There is always the danger of them breaking off too high and causing lameness. When we break a fingernail, they rarely break in the correct place.
Trim-Tec Hoof Trimming Wheel
You can see in this photo the main tool we use for trimming hooves. I use a titanium wheel that has 3 blade inserts. This wheel is made by a company called Trim-Tec. The inserts are four sided. As one side gets dull you are able to rotate the blade and have another sharp cutting surface. The wheel is mounted on a 4 1/2” grinder.
These trimming wheels should only be used by those who are trained and experienced. There are many different styles of wheels available. There is a wide range of how aggressive of cutting wheel a person can get.
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