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Reducing the Burden of Dairy Cow Lameness

Lameness is important to the producer and the cow!

Lameness is an important disease to the dairy industry that results in:

  1. Pain for the cow.
  2. Frustration for cow caretakers.
  3. Lower milk production.
  4. More forced culling.
  5. Lower reproductive efficiency.

How does a dairy know it has a problem?

Find the lame cows through locomotion scoring, and compare your prevalence to your limit/goal.  Goals may vary from 5% to 20% of herd (based on welfare audits and herd averages).

What if the herd lameness prevalence exceeds the herd goal or limit?

There are many causes of dairy cow lameness and usually more than one factor is involved in a herd problem but the causes will vary from farm to farm. So, to “fix” the problem requires:

  1. Investigation to find the most likely contributing factors.
  2. Effort from management and service providers (veterinarian, hoof trimmer, nutritionist) to develop solutions.

To navigate throughout this project’s site, please use the Project Pages section to the right.

These tools have been developed and tested by researchers at WSU and OSU, and veterinarians and dairy producers in Washington and Oregon.  This project was funded by the Washington State Dairy Federation / Washington Dairy Products Commission.