Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

How Dairy Cattle Facilities May Contribute to Lameness

193 views

Published on

Dan McFarland joins us to discuss how dairy facilities can contribute to lameness problems. Learn about resting and flooring surfaces, slip hazards, and how heat stress and heifer rearing can factor in.

You can find the full presentation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNyfdyTrZq0

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

How Dairy Cattle Facilities May Contribute to Lameness

  1. 1. HOW DAIRY CATTLE FACILITIES MAY CONTRIBUTE TO LAMENESS Dan F. McFarland, M.S., Agricultural Engineering Educator
  2. 2. “Cows are land animals. They prefer soft surfaces for walking and lying down.” -Shearer, 2007
  3. 3. “Hard flooring surfaces are less comfortable for cows and contribute to claw horn overgrowth and weight bearing disturbances that predispose to lameness.” -Shearer, 2007
  4. 4. Common Causes of Dairy Cattle Lameness  Laminitis  Sole ulcers  White line disease  Heel erosion (‘slurry heel’)  Digital dermatitis  Hock injuries  Hip dislocation  Arthritis
  5. 5. Source: Hoard’s Dairyman
  6. 6. “Direct” Facility Factors That Cause and/or Contribute to Lameness
  7. 7. Weight Distribution of a Dairy Cow • Front feet – 55 – 60% total weight • Rear feet – 40 – 45% total weight Source: Phillips
  8. 8. Force Exerted on Foot Bearing Area 1,400 lb Dairy Cow Weight Distribution 8 in2/foot Standing Walking Front (60%) 52.5 lb/in2 105 lb/in2 Rear (40%) 35 lb/in2 70 lb/in2 Weight Distribution 185 lb Male Human 20 in2/foot Standing Walking 4.6 psi 9.3 psi
  9. 9. Hard, Unyielding Floor Surfaces • Create pressure points on weight bearing surfaces – Corium inflammation – Sole ulcers, white line disease
  10. 10. Rough, Abrasive Floor Surfaces • Can wear claw horn faster than growth New Concrete
  11. 11. Rough, Abrasive Floor Surfaces • Claw horn wears faster than claw horn growth rate Traffic Lanes
  12. 12. Smooth, Slippery Floor Surfaces • Offers little traction – Slipping – Splitting – Falls Photo: R.E. Graves
  13. 13. Inorganic Bedding Materials • Can increase rate of claw horn wear • Can polish concrete surfaces smooth
  14. 14. Uneven Floor Surfaces • Contact points of lateral &medial claws at different elevations – Chance of injury to inter-digital space
  15. 15. Uneven Floor Surfaces • Holes & irregular surfaces are unacceptable in cattle areas
  16. 16. Debris on Floor Surfaces • May cause puncture of sole & lead to abscess formation Sharp Stones Construction Debris
  17. 17. Suitable Floor Surface for Cattle
  18. 18. Suitable Floor Surface for Cattle • Concrete is a popular choice – Requires experienced installer with ‘cow sense’
  19. 19. Suitable Floor Surface for Cattle • Desirable characteristics: (Gooch 2003) – Grooved floor pattern – Proper groove width, depth, edge & spacing – Flat, smooth surface between grooves
  20. 20. Suitable Floor Surface for Cattle • Groove patterns – Parallel • 0.375 to 0.50” wide & deep • 3 to 4” on center • In direction of alley length – Diamond • 0.375 to 0.50” wide & deep • 3 to 5” on center
  21. 21. Suitable Floor Surface for Cattle • Resilient flooring materials – Offers relief from concrete surfaces – More resilient materials • offer better comfort & traction – More durable materials • Hold up better to vehicle traffic • Often become slippery when wet
  22. 22. Wet, Manure Covered Cow Alleys • Increased slipping • Moisture softens claw • Increases chance of infection
  23. 23. Keep Floor Surfaces Clean & Dry • Tractor Scraping • Automatic Scrapers • Flush • Slotted Flooring
  24. 24. Cows in Tie stalls • Long toes in front feet • Wet, manure laden spots at rear of resting area
  25. 25. Soft, Resilient Floor Surfaces • Uneven horn growth – Long toes – Sole ulcers
  26. 26. Rushed Handling of Cattle • Increased incidence of slipping & falls • Increased hoof wear
  27. 27. “Indirect” Facility Factors That Cause and/or Contribute to Lameness
  28. 28. Cows Rest 10 to 14 Hours per Day Cows Stand 10 to 14 Hours per Day
  29. 29. Excessive Standing = Abnormal Behavior
  30. 30. Inadequate Stall Design & Management • Indicators of stall use reluctance or refusal – Perching – Standing in stall – Resting in cow alleys “The greatest effect of poor stall design may be on lame cows within any given herd.”- Marin et al. (2007)
  31. 31. Inadequate Stall Design & Management • Improper stall size • Improper freestall structure • Improper tie stall structure • Uncomfortable resting surface • Poor stall management
  32. 32. Provide a Clean, Dry, Comfortable Resting Area
  33. 33. Provide a Comfortable Resting Area • Stall size & structure that allows cows to: – enter & recline easily – rest comfortably – rise & exit easily
  34. 34. Provide a Comfortable Resting Area • Comfortable resting surface Cows seem to prefer 4” to 8” of bedding
  35. 35. Provide a Comfortable Resting Area • Comfortable resting surface Mattress & Mat stall beds replace a % of bedding depth
  36. 36. Provide a Comfortable Resting Area • Good stall grooming & bedding management
  37. 37. Overcrowding • Reduces resting space availability • Reduces available feeding space
  38. 38. Cows Stand Too Long in Holding Area • Idle standing • Lame, less mobile cows typically hang to the rear 3 hours/day - maximum
  39. 39. Feeding Area Design & Management • Limited feeding area • Limited feed access time • Restricted feeding vs. 5 to 10% refusal • Inconsistent feeding schedule • Infrequent TMR push-back • Sorting • Component feeding • Bunk competition Sources: Shaver, 2002 & Hovingh, 2010
  40. 40. Improve Access to Feed • Provide adequate space & convenient access
  41. 41. Improve Access to Feed • Provide adequate time – More than 20 hours per day Feed to cows Cows to feed
  42. 42. Improve Access to Feed • Keep feed in reach – Timely delivery – Timely ‘push-back’
  43. 43. Heat Stress • Standing allows better heat transfer • Increased panting leads to reduced rumination
  44. 44. Heat Stress • Increased incidence of lameness late summer, early fall – May reflect time needed for sole lesion to develop (Cook, 2007)
  45. 45. “SAAWW” to Reduce Heat Stress • Shade • Air – Air exchange – Air movement • Water – Drinking – Cooling
  46. 46. • Provide cows a confident non-skid footing • Regularly remove slurry from floor surfaces • Provide a clean, dry, comfortable resting area • Feed access & management to promote good rumen function • Manage heat stress • Adopt good heifer rearing practices to reduce lameness Adapted from Kossaibati et al., 1997; Hovingh, 2010 Plan to Reduce Lameness in Dairy Cattle
  47. 47. Source: Hoard’s Dairyman

×