Starting a lameness investigation on a farm consists of:
- Establishing the prevalence of lameness on a herd level, Mobility scoring.
- Identifying what lesion types re more prevalent, i.e. infectious or non-infectious or mixed
- Identifying key risk factors for these lesions with farm walks and discussion with all members of the farm staff team
- Initiating a SMART action plan, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely targets.
- Regular team meetings to monitor progress and continued data collection.
Four main cornerstones of any lameness plan need to be:
- Early detection and prompt effective treatment
- Reducing infection pressure – disinfection and foot hygiene
- Forces on feet – comfort tracks, cow flow
- Robust feet – genetics, horn quality and hoof shape, healthy digital cushion