“I’m seeing more and more feet get trimmed that don’t need it,” says Jan Shearer, University of Florida extension veterinarian and noted lameness expert. Trimming cows’ feet when they don’t need it, or over-trimming when they do, sets the cows up for lameness.


In some cases, paying your hoof trimmer on a per-cow basis may encourage him to trim cows that don’t really need it. Instead of a per-cow fee, Shearer suggests that you pay trimmers an hourly or daily rate.


A good trimmer always checks a cow’s feet before trimming, and if the cow doesn’t need a trim he will turn her loose. However, you need to compensate that trimmer for his experience and expertise that he uses to judge if an animal needs a trim. That’s why using an hourly or daily rate is a better way to compensate your trimmer.