Lameness in dairy cows is a symptom caused by a variety of foot and leg disorders. It is a severe problem in livestock farming, not only from the perspective of animal welfare, but also economically, since it reduces milk yield and gives expenses for the necessary treatments. A range of systems using smart sensor technology has been developed in order to detect lameness as early, accurate and safely as possible, for example Gaitwise and Stepmetrix. However, currently no system exists on the market that is in widespread practical use. The aim of this study was to analyse the lameness challenges in Danish dairy farming and the willingness of dairy farmers to invest in technologies to detect lameness. A questionnaire targeting relevant stakeholders in Danish dairy farming was carried out. Two types of questionnaires were developed; one for farmers and one for companies (i.e. advisors, veterinarians). Invitations for both questionnaires were spread through dairy farming websites. The questionnaire was developed to allow for three different ways of answering, through SMS, email or through a website. The results demonstrate different perceptions between farmers and companies regarding the estimated lameness incidence of Danish farms. The majority of farmers estimated the lameness incidence on their farm as below 10%, whereas the majority of companies estimated the lameness incidence of the farms they visit above 10%. One of the reasons for this divergence could be the differences in the observation and understanding of lameness. The willingness to invest in lameness detection technology varies considerably amongst farmers. Moreover, an observed skepticism by some farmers could be a result of the current economic recession in Danish dairy farming.
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
|Event||AgEng 2016 - Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark|
Duration: 26 Jun 2016 → 29 Jun 2016
|Period||26/06/16 → 29/06/16|