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Can automated measures of lying time help assess lameness and leg lesions on tie-stall dairy farms?

By Gemma L. Charlton, Veronique Bouffard, Jenny Gibbons, Elsa Vasseur, Derek B. Haley, Doris Pellerin, Jeffrey Rushen, Anne Marie de Passillé

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Abstract

The time that dairy cows spend lying down is an important measure of their comfort and lameness and injuries to hocks and knees are associated with alterations in lying time. We examined whether automated measures of lying time could identify cows and farms with problems of lameness or leg lesions. Data were collected from 40 lactating Holstein dairy cows from each of 100 tie-stall farms. The occurrence of lameness, hock and knee injuries was recorded and lying times were recorded automatically using accelerometers. There was large variation between individual cows, and between farms in all measures of lying time. At the cow level, there was no relationship ( P>0.10) between being lame and daily duration of lying time. A lower daily duration of lying time was found among cows with hock injuries (meanSE: non-injured=12.790.06 h, injured=12.210.06 h; P

Date 2016
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 175
Pages 14-22
Publisher Elsevier
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2015.02.011
Language English
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Cattle
  2. Lameness