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Behaviour of cows in cubicles and its possible relationship with laminitis in replacement dairy heifers
  1. P Colam-Ainsworth,
  2. GA Lunn,
  3. RC Thomas and
  4. RG Eddy
  1. School of Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford.


The behaviour of cows in cubicles was studied in two dairy herds which were under the same ownership and had similar buildings and management systems. One of the herds had an annual problem of lameness due to laminitis leading to solar ulceration in the replacement first lactation heifers. There were considerable behavioural differences between the cows in the two herds. In the problem herd the heifers and cows stood for significantly longer, more heifers were seen not to use the cubicles, and there were more examples of aberrant behaviour than in the other herd. Less straw was used for cubicle bedding in the problem herd and when the amount used was increased to one bale per 10 cows per day no new cases of laminitis and solar ulceration occurred in the heifers.

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