Associating body condition score and parity with sub-optimal mobility in pasture-based dairy cows

A.H. O'Connor*, E.A.M. Bokkers, I.J.M. De Boer, H. Hogeveen, R. Sayers, N. Byrne, E. Ruelle, L. Shalloo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Sub-optimal mobility in dairy cows can be broadly defined as abnormal gait which causes a deviation from the optimal walking pattern of a cow. Sub-optimal mobility is also associated with significant economic and environmental consequences, which have yet to be extensively researched or quantified in pasture-based systems. However, to quantify sub-optimal mobility in terms of its impacts economically and environmentally, and indeed to aid in the development of automated detection sensors for sub-optimal mobility, a clear understanding of the characteristics of a cow with sub-optimal mobility is required. So far, automated detection sensors have been successful for detecting moderate to severe forms of sub-optimal mobility. However, there is a need for a better understanding of the cow-level traits associated with all forms of sub-optimal mobility, including mild forms, to incorporate this into future development of automated detection sensors for sub-optimal mobility. Therefore, the aim of our study was to determine the associations between hoof disorders (both type and presence), body condition score, and all levels of sub-optimal mobility in pasture-based dairy cows using data from a large sample of Irish dairy farms. Mobility scores, body condition scores (BCS), claw disorder (presence and severity), and parity records were available for 6,927 dairy cows from 52 pasture-based herds. Binomial logistic regression analysis was completed to determine the associations between claw disorder (presence and severity), BCS, parity and sub-optimal mobility. The output variable was sub-optimal mobility (mobility score ≥ 1) and the predictor variables were specific claw disorders and their severities, BCS, and parity. Our results indicate that all severities of claw disorders, low BCS, and higher parity cows are all associated with an increased risk for sub-optimal mobility.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPrecision Livestock Farming 2019
Subtitle of host publicationPapers Presented at the 9th European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming, ECPLF 2019
EditorsBernadette O'Brien, Deirdre Hennessy, Laurence Shalloo
PublisherTeagasc
Pages798-802
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781841706542
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019
Event9th European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming, ECPLF 2019 - Cork, Ireland
Duration: 26 Aug 201929 Aug 2019

Publication series

NamePrecision Livestock Farming 2019 - Papers Presented at the 9th European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming, ECPLF 2019

Conference

Conference9th European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming, ECPLF 2019
CountryIreland
CityCork
Period26/08/1929/08/19

Keywords

  • Body condition
  • Claw disorder
  • Grass-based system
  • Lameness
  • Parity

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