Locomotion scores and lying behaviour are indicators of hoof lesions in dairy cows

By Munksgaard, Lene and Sørensen, Jan Tind and Thomsen, Peter T., The Veterinary Journal, 2012
Locomotion scoring, lying behaviour and lesion recording during hoof trimming are all ways of evaluating hoof health in dairy cows. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between these measures in a random sample of 1340 cows from 42 Danish dairy herds. The hypothesis was that locomotion scoring and/or the monitoring of lying behaviour could be used as tools to identify cows with hoof lesions, either of the horn or of the skin. Cows were locomotion scored, lying behaviour recorded and data on hoof lesions seen during hoof trimming collected. The results were analysed using logistic regression with hoof lesion as the outcome and locomotion score (1–5), mean duration of lying bouts, parity and lactation stage as explanatory variables. This analysis was undertaken for all types of lesions, for hoof horn lesions only and for skin lesions only. Odds of all hoof lesions and of skin lesions increased with increasing locomotion score and increasing mean duration of lying bouts. Odds of horn lesions also increased with increasing locomotion score, but there was no significant association between horn lesions and the mean duration of lying bouts. It was concluded that locomotion scoring and duration of lying bouts may be used as tools in the management of hoof health in dairy herds.
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