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Relationships between lameness and feeding behaviour in cubicle-housed Holstein–Friesian dairy cows

By Maeve A. Palmer, Ryan Law, Niamh E. O’Connell

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Abstract

The relationship between lameness and feeding behaviour in dairy cows is not yet fully understood. This study examined the effect of lameness on feeding behaviour at two points during lactation. Forty-five Holstein–Friesian dairy cows (average parity 3.3) were housed in cubicle accommodation after calving and fed a total mixed ration (TMR). At approximately 60 and 120days post partum, 48h of information on feeding behaviour (including number of meals eaten, meal duration, meal size and feeding rate) was collected for each animal using feed boxes fitted to a data recording system. At the same time points, locomotion scores were recorded for each cow as a measure of lameness (1.0-sound to 4.5-severely lame). Relationships between feeding behaviour and locomotion score were analysed using Residual Maximum Likelihood (REML) analysis. At both time points, cows with higher locomotion scores ate fewer (P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 140
Issue 3
Pages 121-127
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2012.06.005
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Tags
  1. Cattle
  2. Feeding behavior
  3. Lameness