Any lameness action plan must take into account the factors below if it is to be successful.
1. Environmental factors.
- Enable the cow to enter and leave cubicles easily
- Ensure the cow can lie down and rise without interference
- Ensure the cow can stand or lie in the stall comfortably
- Avoid the rear feet constantly being in contact with slurry and urine
- Take care with slurry cleaning and scraping
- Provide soft dry bedding – particularly for pre-calving heifers
- Check flooring condition –? renew poor concrete, concrete grooving, avoid variable heights
- Observe cows daily – watch for foot injuries
- Treat cows promptly and place in straw yard/ pen for recovery
- Regular foot bathing greatly reduces lameness in most cases
- Regular foot trimming is also important
2. Nutritional factors
- Avoid Rumen acidosis
- Take care in heifer rearing to avoid laminitis
3. Inherited factors
- Avoid selecting replacement heifers from cows with poor conformation, gait or hoof type
- Use Bulls with good classification for leg and hoof conformation
Locomotion scoring can be used to assess the progress of a lameness action plan.