Cracked Hooves

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My 4 year old cow has badly cracked front hooves. They have almost full length vertical cracks and some shorter horizontal cracks. They don't seem to hurt my cow but I am still very concerned. What can I do to get rid of them or prevent them in the future?

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Alot of hoof problems while related to physical causes,ie poor structure of animal or bad soil conditions, have a root cause of insufficient zinc in the diet. Try adding zinc to your fertilizer, or add it as a supplement block or lick. Cows need zinc (balanced with other trace elements) to keep their feet strong but soft so that they will bear the load required,but also wear away evenly in both wet & dry conditions,and thus not create uneven stresses on the wall of the hoof, causing the cracks you describe. I have at times had 100 or so lame cows with cracked hooves when a wet time turned abruptly to a dry time. Since I started supplementing ALL trace elements I have seen no such problems. Good luck.

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