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15 Aug 2018
It’s reasonably obvious that in order for a milking cow to perform to her potential, that she needs to be kept healthy. One of the more significant animal health aspects that can derail your efforts to get the best out of her is that of lameness.
Poor cow management is likely to be the main factor responsible for many of the lame cows in New Zealand dairy herds. It would be worthwhile taking a bit of time to analyse the approach you currently take to managing (or preventing) lameness in your herd.
· Have you spent time observing cows as they move along races and when they are in the yards during milking?
· Is everybody on your farm aware that if cows' heads are up in the race or yards they are under too much pressure?
· Do you detect lame cows before they are at the back of the herd and can't bear weight on their hoof?
· Does everybody on your farm understand how to use the backing gate to maximise cow flow and minimise hoof damage in the yards?
· Does everybody on your farm use the backing gate in the same way?
· Does everybody that treats lame cows equipped with the appropriate skills for the job?
Do you have enough experienced staff treating lame cows to ensure that all lame cows are treated as early as possible?
If you did not manage to answer yes to all these questions, then there are aspects of current stock management that are likely to need to be changed.
DairyNZ has just released the Healthy Hoof App to help you reduce the hassle associated with identifying and managing lame cows that can help reduce the hassle associated with identifying and managing lame cows. To reduce the lameness in your herd, you must first understand the nature and scale of the problem and this is where the Healthy Hoof app comes in, allowing you to easily record lameness information.
Prevention of lameness is critical to the welfare of your cows and also to your bottom line.
15 Aug 2018
10 kgs DM/day
2165 kgs DM/ha
% in milk
Crude Protein Level