On cows and bulls. What? That’s a new subject. Who would have thought that the trimming of hoofs could be interesting or even captivating? I did not . But I’m hooked now.
You are shaking your head, right? I did too, at first. Obviously, there is everything on YouTube and somehow a video of a guy who travels around Scotland trimming the hoofs of cattle got into my feed. Curious, I took a look. The Hoof GP. This young guy (everyone is young to me) travels around to different farms where he can work on cows or bulls that needs a trim, or more serious hoof work.
Graeme Parker, the Hoof GP, has built quite a large following and successful business with his YouTube videos and instructional courses on hoof health. Why is this important? Cattle, like other animals, become lame if their hoofs are damaged, growth that impedes their walking, illness or infection. Poor hoof care results in lowered dairy production and beef cattle that lose weight. Bulls that are in pain are bad performers, if you know what I mean.
“Through out the channel there are instructional videos, before and afters, descriptive and in depth tutorials on how to fix everything from sole ulcers, white line disease, digital dermatitis and more of the common and not so common problems found within cows feet.” – from the Hoof GP website
The Hoof GP has over 800k subscribers on YouTube, which seems very impressive to me. It is interesting to watch him trim each side of the hoof, using a circular grinder to reduce the height, shape the length and remove overgrown areas. The grinder exposes cracks, bruising, holes and infected areas. Then, he gets out the curved knife to carve out problem areas and more precisely remove loose or expose infected areas. He makes it very clear that he is not veterinarian and is prohibited by law to disturb living tissue, so he is careful about how far he digs into the hoof. The hoof has two sections or digits as he calls them. When one side is injured and needs medication and healing, he glues a wooden or plastic block on the good side, so that it is higher than the damaged side and takes the cow or bull’s weight. Usually, he applies iodine and a medicated compound to the injured area, wraps it and lets the cow go. See how much I’ve learned! He often revisits these cows to check on their healing and horn growth. I am surprised at how often the infections are healed and proper of horn growth corrects the problems.
In the past few months, I have watched many of his videos, which he uploads about one or two a week. Parker is a very entertaining guy, he not only narrates the videos so you understand what he is doing and why, he brings a fun personality to the videos. Despite the jovial nature at times, he takes his work seriously and is genuine about the health of the cows he works on.
Parker has quite the presence on social media with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and his websites. Need a Hoof GP coffee mug or t-shirt, visit his merchandise page.
But wait, there’s more.
Parker is not the only hoof trimmer on YouTube. Nate the Hoof Guy, Midwestern Hooftrimmer and Alset are among the other hoof trimmers.
I don’t used TikTok so I haven’t seen his work. Below is why Thomas believes videos like his are popular around the world.
“I think hoof trimming is very different. So a lot of people have never seen it before which helps. In most of my bigger videos… there’s no talking and there’s no writing, so there’s no language barrier so it’s not specific to anyone. At one point it was trending in Japan for a while and I’ve had people commenting from Iraq, Brazil, Mexico, and all over the place. I think because there’s no language in it, it made it a bit easier to trend and go viral.”
Thomas is also on Instagram under the name, keepingcowsmoovin.