Identifying risk factors associated with lameness in pasture-based dairy herds

Journal of Dairy Science
S RanjbarJ K House

Abstract

Lameness is a significant welfare concern for dairy farmers and a major contributing economic loss to the dairy industry. Information is limited on environmental and managerial risk factors associated with lameness in Australian dairy herds. The objective of this study was to explore and quantify the environmental and management risk factors associated with lameness in pasture-based dairy herds. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 63 pasture-based dairy herds between 2011 and 2014, where all lactating cows were locomotion scored (scale 1-4) during a single visit. Environmental and management variables, such as length of main track and animal handling practices, were recorded during the visit. The prevalence of lameness was measured for each farm and associated risk factors were analyzed using a Generalized Linear Model, where farm was the unit of analysis. Estimated average prevalence of lameness was 18.9% (range 5 to 44.5%). The prevalence of lameness was associated with the amount of rainfall during the 30 d before the farm assessment, smoothness of concrete surface and available space per cow in the holding yard, and length of feed-pad available per cow. Inappropriate handling of cows on the track (e.g., causing sideway...Continue Reading

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Sep 1, 2017·Tropical Animal Health and Production·M B SadiqW M Shaik Mossadeq
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Related Concepts

Metazoa
Bos indicus
Cattle Diseases
Prevalence Studies
Dairying
Lactation, Prolonged
Lameness, Animal
Animal Feed (Substance)
Cross-Sectional Studies
Environment

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