A study of lameness in dairy cows with reference to nutrition and hoof shape

Manson, Felicity Jane (1986) A study of lameness in dairy cows with reference to nutrition and hoof shape. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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1. The literature review covers the incidence of lameness in dairy cows and the predisposing management factors associated with lameness. Housing in relation to lameness and the nutritional causes of lameness, with particular reference to laminitis, are discussed. The genetic basis of lameness and the relationships between locomotion and hoof trimming are also reviewed. An outline of hoof structure, function and formation is given to enable a better understanding of the processes involved in hoof lameness. 2. In Experiment 1 two groups of 24 cows were offered 2 levels of concentrate from out-of-parlour feeders (7 kg/day versus 11 kg/day), plus silage ad libitum, during weeks 3 to 22 of lactation. Locomotion scores and rates of clinical incidence of lameness indicated that the high level of concentrate increased lameness. However, there were no significant effects on hoof shape. 3. In Experiment 2 the effects of protein level (161 g/kg crude protein versus 198 g/kg crude protein) and Dutch hoof trimming (trimmed versus untrimmed) on four groups of 12 cows were examined, during weeks 3 to 26 of lactation. Metabolisable energy intakes and the concentrate to silage ratios v/ere maintained at the same level for all four treatments. Trimming and the high protein level significantly increased locomotion score and clinical incidence of lameness. Trimming also increased hoof growth and reduced heel bulb hardness. No relationships between lameness and various blood parameters were found. There were indications that lame cows did not perform as well as those who were not lame. 4. In Experiment 3 the effects of concentrate to silage ratio (38:62 versus 63:37) and Dutch hoof trimming (trimmed versus untrimmed) on four groups of 12 cows were investigated, during weeks 3 to 26 of lactation. The high concentrate to silage ratio significantly increased locomotion score and trimming reduced locomotion score although not significantly. Higher incidences of clinical lameness in the high concentrate to silage ratio and untrimmed treatments were found. The high concentrate to silage ratio significantly reduced the hardness of the abaxial wall and sole, and as in Experiment 2 trimming increased hoof growth. Again there were indications that poor locomotion and lameness were associated with losses in production. 5. Behaviour was observed during three 24 hour periods in each of the three feeding trials. Negative correlations between time spent feeding and positive correlations between lying time and locomotion score were found. The number of social interactions decreased as locomotion score increased. 6. These experiments indicated that high levels of concentrate and protein, and high concentrate to silage ratios resulted in poorer locomotion and higher incidences of clinical lameness. Trimming appeared to improve locomotion, although its benefits in correcting hoof shape and weight distribution were not long term due to its effect of increasing hoof growth. Hoof shape and hoof hardness were also related to locomotion and lameness.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Prof. J. M.M. Cunningham
Keywords: Animal sciences.
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Supervisor, not known
Date of Award: 1986
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1986-72287
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 24 May 2019 15:12
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2021 09:55
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/72287

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