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Title: Systems study of lameness in dairy cattle : effects of management, diet and behaviour
Author: Berry, Robert John
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
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The majority of lameness in dairy herds occurs during the winter housing period when management is at its most intensive. This study assessed the impact of different dietary and management regimes at the system, calving season, and individual level. Observational studies of behaviour and subjective assessment of lameness disease types were carried out on two herds of high genetic merit Holstein-Friesian cows. The herds were housed under identical conditions but differed in their dietary and management regimes. One herd, unit 1, was kept on a low dietary concentrate input regime and milked twice daily whilst the other herd, unit 2, was fed large amounts of supplementary concentrate over lactation and milked three times daily. Assessment of clinical disease in each unit showed that there were more lameness cases on the high input regime, unit 2; however unit 1 showed a higher incidence of diseases related to claw horn disorders such as laminitis and sole ulcer. There was a higher incidence of infectious foot disease in unit 2, the high input system. The incidence of subclinical lesions in the hooves was influenced by dietary treatment: unit 2 animals had more lesions 3-5 months postcalving, however there was no difference between treatments in the early postcalving period or during peak lesion incidence 2-3 months postcalving. This indicated that the increased use of concentrates may have sustained the level of subclinical lesions in unit 2 for a prolonged period. Unit 1 animals fed for longer than unit 2 animals, and autumn calvers on unit 1 reduced lying time apparently to maximise feeding time.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available