Thick hocks is a painfull disease!

Thick hocks is a painfull disease!

Thick hocks is a painfull disease! Prevent it by giving your cows more bedding. Best solution is deep sand or straw beds or free bedded pack! All cows in the world deserve this... Please share your thoughts and give us some feedback on how to prevent thick hocks. Thank you.

Photo was sent to us by Bob Kendal, Northern Ruminant Sales Manager at Alltech.
Thank you for sharing Bob!

Comments (18)

Lina

But how do you clean the sand beds?

Ben

Strow/chalk/water bedding also gives a100% result in my herd. 0 thick hocks in 120 cows.

jim boet

i work as well with a mixture of straw chalk and water. works perfect, have 250 cows in stable and in total we have 3 cows with thick hock. besides this i see that the amount of mastitis reduced after using this bedding with chalk.

Danny

Lina. The deep sand beds would typically be in a freestall/cubicle so it would just mean cleaning the manure and urine from the back of the bed.

Martin

We had a lot of cows with sore hocks when we used free stalls with matresses and chopped straw or sawdust. Then we introduced a BeddingMaster system for dried manure solids and raised curb height on all boxes + started to bed DMS in deep beds in new barn and this problem disappeared completely maybe except of 1% cows.

Rafael Castillo

Obvious !!

Danny

Martin. How have the DMS affected SCC? I'm very interested in using more of this in Canada. What about in the summer, or do you pasture cows?

Sanna Soleskog

Matrester with turf as bedding also works !

Karl Burgi

I believe there is a high correlation between lameness and swollen hocks. From my experience it is lame cows that have swollen hocks.
Why do cows become lame?
We have very good research that shows up to 40% more lameness with mattress beds compared to sand or deep beds. A locomotion score 3 cow will lay the same amount of hours per day in deep bed as a healthy cow but a locomotion score 3 cow will stand more hours on a mattress bed. So for me it is clear that it is subclinical lameness and the standing that results in higher levels of lameness.
With a deep bed any size cow lame or not lame can get comfortable. They can also lie down and get up with ease and less pain resulting in more lying time per day. This is generally always the case even though the stall may not be of perfect dimension or design.
With semi soft or harder stall surface that are regularly bedded with some type of soft bedding the healthy cow performs without problems and it is incredible rare to see a swollen hock. As soon as that cow becomes a locomotion score 3 cow, which means that there is subclinical lameness present, the lying behavior starts to change. Subclinical lameness means now there is more pain associated with lying into the bed and rising from the bed. These types of cows do not lie down so graciously and struggle much more rising. This behavior will result in more traumas to the hock resulting in eventual swollen hock problems. It is only common sense that because of pain such cows would spend more time standing increasing the risk of lameness severity and along with that swollen hocks.
The solution to this problem;
• Facilities with mattress beds require a much higher level of management
• A correctly designed freestall that is optimized to the various size cows
• Covering the beds daily with some soft bedding material
• Excellent lameness prevention through timely and correct functional hoof trimming
• Locomotion scoring of all cows monthly or bi-monthly for early identification of subclinical lameness
• Cows with subclinical lameness must be functionally trimmed as soon as possible
• Daily implementation of urgent lame cow care and proper lameness treatments
• Lame cows will require follow up care and extra attention in the future.

Ljiljana

Hello Jim and the others!
How to mix straw+chalk+water?
Thanks for sharing the experiences!

Joep Driessen

Hi all, great remarks!
Karl, i fully agree with deep beds as the best option to prevent lameness. Inbe
Ieveble that people nowadays still build matress barns... Lack of practical knowledge...

Straw chalk water mix is 1 kg: 4 kg 1 kg. In mixer wagon. We use it in Holland when farm has slatted floors. 3cm long chopped straw will easily go down between slats of 4 cm.

Thanks for all your reactions. Dried manure, green bedding seems to be a cheap alternative, however a bit less hygenic.

Less cellcount is mainly through more resting time and better genral resistence, when going from matresses to deep beds. Lyong in a soft bed is VERY important.... I do it every night

Joep Driessen

Hi all, great remarks!
Karl, i fully agree with deep beds as the best option to prevent lameness. Inbe
Ieveble that people nowadays still build matress barns... Lack of practical knowledge...

Straw chalk water mix is 1 kg: 4 kg 1 kg. In mixer wagon. We use it in Holland when farm has slatted floors. 3cm long chopped straw will easily go down between slats of 4 cm.

Thanks for all your reactions. Dried manure, green bedding seems to be a cheap alternative, however a bit less hygenic.

Less cellcount is mainly through more resting time and better genral resistence, when going from matresses to deep beds. Lyong in a soft bed is VERY important.... I do it every night

Steffen Elmer

Deep bedded cubicles are the best we use dried manure in the cubicles and the cows loves it. I have no lame in the hospital pen.
About the comment that it is less hygienic, then I would say we don't see a problem with mastitis. We just use enough bedding all the time the beds are always full

Frits Lamberts

I miss in this discussion the effect of rumen acidosis (SARA) and other (hoof) diseases that decrease the quality of the hoofs. The cows don't move as smoothly as they should anymore and it becomes quite strenuous to stand up, often using their hocks to get up.
Or is this old school? ;-)

Frits Lamberts

PS: I once heard from a vet working at the slaughter house that cows with thick hocks often have many (micro) abcesses in their internal organs So without any doubt, this is a serious disease!

Bob Kendal

You're very welcome to the photo. It was taken during one of our mycotoxins audits. Swollen hocks can be a symptom of mycotoxins. Keep up the good work

Rex

hi all
great stuff
with the straw lime water mix how does one put it into the cubicle?

Henk van Dijken

The reason of Swolling hocks is pressure point ! Pressure point blocks the bloodstream trough the hock and wasdte materials in the blood trough feet create an swelling. Solution: Dual Chamber Cow waterbeds ! An cowbedding who is after many years still the same of 100% comfort. Less bedding only to keep it dry. Easy to clean it by hand or machine. Less labor. Don't block the head ofg the cow, so less milk leaking. More than 20-year experinse. Please your reaction and I give you our reference addresses. www.buc-holland.com

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