How many lame cows are there in the herd? A systematic lameness assessment often shows that there is a larger proportion of cows that are doing worse than expected.
Use the lameness assessment as the first step towards better hoof health, healthier cows, and lower cow mortality.
When discovering a lame cow in the herd, you should always assess whether it requires special treatment. By using the lameness assessment, you can assess the occurrence of lame cows in the herd and detect previous hoof and limb disorders.
A lameness assessment can be performed partly on standing and partly on walking cows, especially with a focus on the top line.
The best lameness rating is obtained by looking at the movement of the cows on a flat floor, where in healthy cows you will usually see good movement. A lameness rating of 2 or more should give a reason for a closer examination of the cow, for example in a hoof trimming box.
Score 1: The cow is standing and walking normally. The cow supports all four legs. The top line is flat.
Score 2: The cow stands with a top line but walks with a slightly curved back. The cow walks a little abnormally.
Score 3: The cow stands and walks with a curved back. The cow takes small steps.
Score 4: The cow stands and walks with a curved back. The cow avoids supporting on one or more legs.
Score 5: The cow stands and walks with a very curved back. The cow avoids supporting on one or more legs. The cow stands very still and has difficulty getting up.
Source: SEGES, Denmark