INTERNATIONAL HOOF CARE WEEK
International Hoof Care Week spreads awareness for the care of hoofed animals. Each year, the week begins the third Tuesday in January and goes through Friday.
You are probably well aware that many kinds of animals have hooves. But did you know that these hoofed animals have toes, too? Animals with an even number of toes are called artiodactyls. These include pigs, goats, deer, sheep, and cattle.
Some animals have only one toe. These animals all belong to the genus Equus. For example, horses, zebras, and donkeys are all one-toed animals. Both even-toed and single-toed animals have hooves. The primary function of these hooves is to allow animals to walk for long distances on hard surfaces without damaging their toes.
Many people own horses, donkeys, and mules. Their hooves require special care. If hooves get neglected, they can become lame and experience sore feet. Most people who own these animals learn how to care for their animals’ hooves. Some professionals specialize in equine hoof care. They are called farriers. They care for hooves by trimming them and putting shoes on them, if necessary.
Many dairy farmers also take special care of their cattles’ hooves. These cattle spend much of their time standing, which is why hoof health is essential. In caring for their dairy cattles’ hooves, farmers reduce toe injuries and lameness, prevent diseases like foot rot, make it easier to stand, and increase milk production.
HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalHoofCareWeek
During this week, the American Farriers Journal hosts an annual International Hoof-Care Summit. The event provides hoof-care education through workshops, roundtable discussions, and instructional clinics. Trade show sessions showcase the newest hoof-care products on the market. Some animal organizations, such as the Lilongwe Society for the Protection of and Care of Animals (LSPCA) in Africa, offer free pedicures to donkeys. Other animal organizations around the world offer free farrier training to hoofed-animal owners.
Here are some other ways to participate:
- Learn the importance of caring for hooves
- Find a farrier in your community and observe what they do
- Attend an equine foot and hoof care clinic
- Learn about farriers and what it takes to become one
- Don’t forget to share this day on social media with #InternationalHoofCareWeek
INTERNATIONAL HOOF CARE WEEK HISTORY
While National Day Calendar was unable to identify the founder of this observance, the American Farriers Journal began hosting its annual International Hoof-Care Summit in 2003. The American Journal also founded National Farriers Week, held the second week in July.