A lameness scoring system that uses posture and gait to predict dairy cattle reproductive performance

Theriogenology
D J SprecherJ B Kaneene

Abstract

Lameness has contributed to reproductive inefficiency and increased the risk of culling in dairy cows. We developed a 5-point lameness scoring system that assessed gait and placed a novel emphasis on back posture. Our objective was to determine if this system predicted future reproductive performance and the risk of culling. The study was conducted at a commercial dairy farm with a history of declining reproductive efficiency and an increasing prevalence of lameness. A total of 66 primipara and pluripara calved, received an initial lameness score, and completed their 60-d voluntary waiting period. The overall prevalence of lameness (mean lameness score >2) was 65.2%. Scoring continued at 4-wk intervals and ceased with conception or culling. The percentage of cows confirmed pregnant and culled was 77.3 and 22.7, respectively. For each reproductive endpoint, a 2 x 2 table was constructed with lameness score >2 as the positive risk factor and either performance greater than the endpoint mean or being culled as the positive disease or condition. Positive and negative predictive values, relative risk, Chisquare statistic and regression analysis were used to evaluate the data. The positive predictive values for days to first service,...Continue Reading

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