Approximately 559.000 dairy cows live in Denmark, and a high yielding dairy cow needs frequent hoof trimming (2-4 times per lactation). That adds up to millions of hoof trimmings every year. All professional hoof trimmers in Denmark are trained at Bygholm Agricultural College.
Twice a year 14-16 “hoof-trimmer-trainees” meet at the college for two weeks of intensive training. An external team of two hoof specialists (veterinarians) and two experienced hoof trimmers run the course. The program is a mix of theory and practice – a lot of practice! All practical training is done on cow-legs coming right from the abattoir. In this way learners can do all the mistakes without harming any animals. In the months between the course weeks, the trainees work in the real business under supervision by an experienced hoof trimmer. It takes one year including three times two-week courses to reach the final exam.
Hoof trimming unfortunately does not require any certificate in Denmark, so anyone can call themselves hoof trimmers. However, most dairy farmers know the value of quality hoof trimming and healthy hoofs. Therefore, the hoof trimming course at Bygholm Agricultural College is a “must” if you want to be in the Danish hoof trimming business.
Text and photos: Anders Højlund Nielsen