Wild bovines rarely walk on hard surfaces for miles at a time carrying 10l of milk in their udders. We are imposing this artificial system on them.
While they are very resilient creatures, our dairy cows have become extremely reliant on a hoof system that isn’t really adapted to our way of farming. Any slight injury to a claw or leg can throw out the delicate balance of weight bearing resulting in one or the other claw becoming overgrown. Once that happens constant weight bearing on surfaces of the hoof that aren’t designed for it create changes internally that severely limit the life of that cow. The pedal bone and lower joints become chronically affected which results in arthritis and bony exostoses.
We see these cows every day in every herd. Many farmers don’t recognise it as abnormal or think that its genetic and nothing can be done.
Trimming the hoof correctly re-balances the weight bearing surfaces and prolongs the life of that cow in the herd. Better longevity of cows flows through to many other advantages for the herd: less empty, more room to cull out other undesirable traits, less replacements needed, to name but a few.