Over the last number of years, we’ve noticed a significant increase in awareness around prevention of lameness in dairy cows. Lameness is one of the biggest production diseases impacting productivity in dairy farming. Research has come along way and the technology and materials are now available to dairy farmers to help reduce lameness in their herd.
In depth research has guided the industry and awareness campaigns such as the DairyCo Healthy Feet Programme, have also been instrumental in driving change in farms across the UK.
Loss in Productivity
Lameness can be caused by injury or an infection to the cow’s foot or leg. It is one of the biggest issues that can impact productivity in a dairy farm. Lame dairy cows suffer pain and discomfort, and this can affect resting patterns and feed consumption, leading to a reduction in milk production and overall longevity.
In the vast majority of cases the cows hooves are most likely to be the issue. Several factors can contribute to lesions on the hoof such as poor-quality flooring in the housing design, cows standing for long periods and slippery walking surfaces.
When reviewing your farms infrastructure keep in mind that grass-fed cows typically do quite a bit of walking on roadways, so it is important that they have the suitable walking surfaces. Poor walking surfaces can lead to injuries, which will slow the herd down. Avoid any sharp angles where possible to keep the cow flow steady.
How to tackle lameness:
- Identify the issues causing reduced mobility in your herd.
- Manage mobility issues, by putting preventative measures in place.
- Take an accurate reading of lameness levels in your herd.
Prevention is Key
According the UFAW it is estimated that the UK has approximately 1.9 million dairy cows and 22% (419,900) may be suffering from lameness at any time.
Prevention is the key to tackling lameness long-term. Improving cow comfort (so there is reduced pressure on the feet) and early detection systems are important to identify issues and provide treatment on a timely basis – preventing lameness.
Slat Rubber for Dairy Cows
Installing rubber matting greatly increases cow comfort, reduces levels of lameness and has a positive impact on dairy farm productivity.
EASYFIX SDR Slat Rubber is our latest solutions for dairy cow and has been specifically designed to improve the comfort and welfare of your herd. The smooth and soft rubber flooring provides a comfortable and confident walking surface and improves cow comfort. The smooth and sloped surface facilitates faster run-off and cleaner cattle. EASYFIX SDR Slat Rubber has an 8 year warranty.
Get in contact
If you would like further information on our dairy housing solutions, please get in touch to learn more.