I have a cow 6 month pregnant with 3rd calf that developed a limp during horrendously wet fall conditions. What is the best way to inspect her front feet when all I have accessible to me is squeeze and maternity pen. Thanks.
I get them in the chute and use a soft, nylon rope around the hock. Wrap the rope around the top bar of the chute and pull up the leg. It's easier if you're pulling back instead of straight up. It's better with 2 people - one to hold the rope and adjust the tension accordingly - but doable by yourself as long as you tie the rope securely once you get the leg up/positioned. Plan B: just get her in the chute & do the best you can by sticking your fingers between the toes to check for foot rot, debris or an abscess (wear gloves - that smell doesn't wash off for a while!).
Be careful with a pregnant cow. Don't want to cause an abortion. A soft cotton rope doubled up and slipped through itself so it doesn't cut off circulation and when done won't be tightened up requiring you to get fingers or hand smashed getting it off. Dally off on a rail and clean it out looking for cut, foreign material or abcess.