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Randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effect of foot trimming before and after first calving on subsequent lameness episodes and productivity in dairy heifers

Mahendran, S.A.; Huxley, J.N.; Chang, Y.-M.; Burnell, M.; Barrett, D.C.; Whay, H.R.; Blackmore, T.; Mason, C.S.; Bell, N.J.

Authors

S.A. Mahendran

J.N. Huxley jon.huxley@nottingham.ac.uk

Y.-M. Chang

M. Burnell

D.C. Barrett

H.R. Whay

T. Blackmore

C.S. Mason

N.J. Bell



Abstract

The objective of this study was to assess both independent and combined effects of routine foot trimming of heifers at 3 weeks pre-calving and 100 days post calving on the first lactation lameness and lactation productivity. A total of 419 pre-calving dairy heifers were recruited from one heifer rearing operation over a 10-month period. Heifers were randomly allocated into one of four foot trimming regimens; pre-calving foot trim and post-calving lameness score (Group TL), pre-calving lameness score and post-calving foot trim (Group LT), pre-calving foot trim and post-calving foot trim (Group TT), and pre-calving lameness score and post-calving lameness score (Group LL, control group). All heifers were scored for lameness at 24 biweekly time points for 1 year following calving, and first lactation milk production data were collected.

Following calving, 172/419 (41.1%) of heifers became lame during the study (period prevalence), with lameness prevalence at each time-point following calving ranging from 48/392 (12.2%) at 29–42 days post-calving to 4/379 (1.1%) between 295 and 383 days after calving. The effects of the four treatment groups were not significantly different from each other for overall lameness period prevalence, biweekly lameness point prevalence, time to first lameness event, type of foot lesion identified at dry off claw trimming, or the 4% fat corrected 305-day milk yield. However, increased odds lameness was significantly associated with a pre-calving trim alone (P = 0.044) compared to the reference group LL. The odds of heifer lameness were highest between 0 and 6 weeks post-partum, and heifer farm destination was significantly associated with lameness (OR 2.24), suggesting that even at high standard facilities, environment and management systems have more effect on heifer foot health than trimming.

Citation

Mahendran, S., Huxley, J., Chang, Y., Burnell, M., Barrett, D., Whay, H., …Bell, N. (2017). Randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effect of foot trimming before and after first calving on subsequent lameness episodes and productivity in dairy heifers. Veterinary Journal, 220, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2017.01.011

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 11, 2017
Online Publication Date Jan 17, 2017
Publication Date Feb 28, 2017
Deposit Date Jan 31, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jan 31, 2017
Journal Veterinary Journal
Electronic ISSN 1532-2971
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 220
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2017.01.011
Keywords Heifer; Lameness; Prophylactic foot trimming; Productivity
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/40208
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2017.01.011
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0





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