Foot Baths

 Key Points

Picture courtesy J. K. Shearer, University of Florida
Picture courtesy J. K. Shearer, University of Florida
  1. Locate the foot bath in an area regularly traveled by cattle. The exit lanes from milking parlors work well.

  2. Foot baths should be 8 to 10 feet long and approximately 3 feet wide with a depth of 6 inches. Locate foot baths on a level surface.
  3. If practical, locate a foot bath containing water (pre-bath) preceding the treatment foot bath. This will help to clean cows feet prior to entering the treatment foot bath.
  4. There should be a gap of 6 to 8 feet between the treatment and water (prebath) foot baths. Cows tend to defecate when entering foot baths. The 6 to 8 foot gap between foot baths allows cows to complete defecation prior to entering the treatment foot bath.
  5. Foot bath solutions should be 4 to 6 inches deep to ensure adequate coverage of the foot area.
  6. Change foot bath solutions after every 150 to 200 cowsa. This will vary due to reasons such as cow cleanliness, use of a pre-bath, type and concentration of medication used, and weather conditions.
  7. Thoroughly drain foot bath and rinse with water before mixing a new batch of solution.
  8. Alternate times for replenishing foot baths with fresh solution so each group of cows has access to fresh solution.
  9. Cows should enter a clean dry area after passing through the foot bath.
  10. Foot baths are most effective for treating diseases of the interdigital skin such as interdigital dermatitis and foot rot.
  11. It is recommended that foot baths be used at least 3 to 4 days per week.
  12. In arid regions, evaporation will concentrate active ingredients.
  13. Formalin is not effective at temperatures below 45°F.

a Manure deactivates the chemicals used in a foot bath; therefore, foot baths must be managed properly to achieve maximum effectiveness. A poorly managed foot bath can actually become a vector for certain infectious diseases of the foot.

Foot Bath Options

Foot Bath Options

Foot Bath Calculations

Foot Bath Calculations

Share this: