Effect of mobility score on milk yield and activity in dairy cattle
Reader, J., Green, M. J., Kaler, Jasmeet, Mason, Sam (Sam A.) and Green, Laura E.. (2011) Effect of mobility score on milk yield and activity in dairy cattle. Journal of Dairy Science, Vol.94 (No.10). pp. 5045-5052. ISSN 00220302
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2011-4415
Previous studies have indicated that lame cows have a reduced milk yield both before and after they are treated. One explanation for the reduction in yield before treatment is that there is a delay to treatment, that is, cows have impaired mobility for some time before they are treated. The aim of this study was to test this hypothesis by investigating temporal associations between change in milk yield and change in mobility score. Mobility score (MS, on a scale 0 to 3), milk yield, treatments for lameness and cow activity were recorded on 312 cows in a dairy herd in Somerset, UK for 1 yr. The MS was scored every 2 wk and compared with the daily yield and activity (steps/h) averaged over the previous 16 d. Approximately 44 % of MS changed within 14 d, usually by 1 score. Overall, milk yields of cows with MS 1 were higher than those of cows with other scores. Cows with MS 2 and 3 produced 0.7 (0.35 - 0.97) kg and 1.6 (0.98 – 2.23) kg less milk / d, respectively, compared with cows with MS 1. In addition, cows with MS 1 were slightly but significantly more active than cows with MS 0, 2 or 3. Cows with MS 2 and 3 were 0.0.02 (0.01 – 0.03) and 0.03 (0.01 – 0.05) mean log steps less active than cows with MS 1.
There was a reduction in yield from 6 - 8 wk before becoming MS 2 0.5 (0.12 – 0.47) or 3 0.9 (0.16 – 1.65) to 4 wk after recovering from MS 2 0.42 (0.09 – 0.75) and non- significantly, score 3. The activity of cows was significantly less but quantitatively small (mean log steps 0.01) with increasing MS; the associations between activity and parity (mean 0.03 – 0.11) and month of lactation (mean 0.03 – 0.36) were quantitatively larger. Results from a multistate model indicated that once cows were lame they remained lame or become lame again despite treatment. We conclude that cows started to reduce milk production before their mobility is visibly impaired. One explanation for this is that MS is not 100% sensitive. An alternative hypothesis, using evidence from other studies, is that reduction in milk yield and development of lameness are on a common causal pathway most likely linked to loss in body condition and reduced digital cushion thickness as a result of the demands from producing high milk yields.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||S Agriculture > SF Animal culture|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Science > Life Sciences (2010- )|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Milk yield, Lameness in cattle|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Journal of Dairy Science|
|Official Date:||October 2011|
|Page Range:||pp. 5045-5052|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
|Funder:||Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Trust|
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Risk factors for increased rates of sole ulcers white line disease and digital dermatitis in dairy cattle from twenty-seven farms in England and Wales. J. Dairy Sci. 92:1971-1978.
King E. M., and Green, L. E. Assessment of farmer recognition and reporting of lameness in lowland sheep flocks in England. Anim. Welfare in press
Vet. J. 154:155-161.
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