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Cows’ lying down behaviour influenced by lameness

C. Yunta, I. Guasch, A. Bach

THIS study set out to evaluate differences in lying down behaviour between moderately lame and non-lame cows under commercial conditions to assess whether changes in behaviour could be used as a proxy for lameness detection.

Data were collected from 10 free-stall commercial herds, which were feeding on the same ration, once daily. Cows were scored for lameness according to a five point locomotion scoring system,with a score of 1 being assigned to sound cows and a score of 5 being assigned to severely lame cows. From each herd, between 10 and 15 lame cows (scored as 3 and 4) were chosen and each lame cow was paired with a non-lame cow (score 1) with the same parity and similar days in milk. Pendant data loggers were then placed on the right hindleg of each cow for 10 days to record lying behaviour at one-minute intervals. In addition, the time of feed delivery was recorded daily in each herd. Total daily lying time, daily number of lying bouts, lying bout duration, side of recumbence, and lying behaviour around feed delivery time were evaluated using …

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