Assessment of skin damages in dairy cows

E.A.A. Smolders

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademic


Skin damages were assessed at 48 conventional and organic farms with mainly cubicle houses. Scores from 1 – 9 were given depending on type and size of the damaged skin at 9 locations of the cow: outer hock, inner hock, knee and body all left and right hand side and the neck. Only the highest score per location is recorded and remarks of unusual findings are made separately. The most frequent and most severe affected location is the outer hock followed by the knee. Only 14 percent of all cows did not have any damage, 34 percent had only hairless patches and 24 percent of the cows did have at least one swelling. Correlations of the mean farm score for the left and right hand side are high for the outer hock and low for the body. To have the most impact in advising farmers, assessment should preferably be made at the end of the housing period, the most threatening period in animal welfare in the Netherlands. This system allows benchmarking within and between farms.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventCultivating the future based on science -
Duration: 18 Jun 200820 Jun 2008


ConferenceCultivating the future based on science


  • cattle
  • dairy farming
  • animal health
  • skin lesions


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