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Effect of concentrate composition and cubicle bedding on the development of hoof haemorrhages in Holstein heifers after calving
  1. C. T. Livesey, BVSc, MSc, MRCVS1,
  2. J. A. Metcalf, BSc, PhD2 and
  3. R. A. Laven, BVetMed, PhD, MRCVS2
  1. 1 Veterinary Laboratories Agency — Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB
  2. 2 ADAS Bridgets, Martyr Worthy, Hampshire S021 lAP
  1. SAC, VSC Dumfries, St Mary's Industrial Estate, Dumfries DGI lKX, ADAS Bridgets, Martyr Worthy, Hampshire S021 lAP

Abstract

Diseases of the hoof horn are the most common cause of lameness in the UK dairy herd, and diet, particularly starch intake, is commonly implicated in their development. This study assessed whether replacing starch carbohydrate with sugar beet pulp, in a diet containing 50 per cent of the dry matter as forage, would significantly reduce the development of hoof horn haemorrhages in dairy heifers after calving. It also investigated the effect of replacing wood shavings as cubicle bedding with chopped straw. The heifers fed the high-fibre diet had a significantly lower yield of milk protein and a significantly higher yield of milk fat than the heifers fed the high-starch diet, indicating that the change of diet had affected rumen fermentation. However, the change had no significant effect on the development of hoof horn haemorrhages. The change of bedding material also had no significant effect on the development of hoof horn haemorrhages.

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