Learning the Art of Hoof Care

FRS Operator Performing HoofcareThe art of hoof care is a specialised skill and learning the art requires intensive training, which all FRS hoof care operators go through before they service our customers. Hoof care is a job that needs to be outsourced to an expert and FRS operators are fully trained and insured to provide a quality service.

FRS operators take part in an intensive training programme, which consists of a one week basic course, which is followed by two weeks in-service training and concludes with a final course and exam.

The FRS courses are held at Waterford FRS training centre in Kilmacthomas under tutor Ned Dunphy who has over 30 years’ experience as an FRS hoof care operator and trainer – as well as being Manager of the Waterford FRS Co-op. The FRS training centre has customised facilities and equipment to conduct the specialised training and assessments.

During the first few days of training operators learn the theory of hoof care, causes of lameness, the 5 step Dutch method of hoof care and practice the skill of paring, initially on dead claws and later on live animals on local farms.  All training is done under the supervision and guidance of Ned Dunphy. Understanding the theory of Lameness is the first essential learning for a good hoof care operator and up to date literature on causes, treatment and prevention of lameness are taught on the course. It is crucial that operators understand the theory before they commence the practical aspect of hoof care. Regular refresher courses are held by FRS to keep even the most experienced operator up to date with new developments and new technologies.

A very important part of the course, delivered by Ned Dunphy, is learning how to effectively communicate with farmers. Each FRS hoof care specialist will be able to advise the farmer on what is causing lameness problems and most importantly, what steps the farmer can take to prevent the problem. The importance of hygiene is also emphasised to ensure all equipment is thoroughly washed and disinfected before it leaves each farm.

Following the successful completion of the course each operator will be equipped with a Mobile Crush and all the necessary tools and supervision to deliver this service to the high service standards set by FRS.

To avail of the FRS specialist hoof care service please contact your local FRS Office or call 1890 790 890 or visit www.frsnetwork.ie.

FRS are offering hoof care demonstrations at farmer discussion groups on request. So get in contact with us if you would like to arrange a free hoof care demonstration for your local discussion group.


About the Author

Peter ByrnePeter Byrne is CEO of the FRS Network which includes FRS Farm Relief Services, FRS Fencing,  FRS Recruitment, FRS Training and FRS Homecare.

Peter graduated from UCD in 1975 with a B.Agr Sc Degree and worked for the next 5 years with Macra na Feirme.  During this time he was given responsibility for researching the potential of relief milking services and in 1980 when National Co-op Farm Relief Services was set up Peter was appointed Manager and has worked for the organisation since then in Roscrea.

Peter was the first recipient of the RDS Bank of Ireland Agricultural Achievement Award in 1987 and the Plunkett Award for Co-operative Endeavour in 1989.

He completed his M. Agr Sc by Thesis in 1989 and was President of the Agricultural Science Association in 1996.  He is currently a board member of Agri Aware.

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