Lameness and dairy cow fertility - Practical Experience
Lameness and dairy cow fertility - Practical Experience

Correlation between lameness and reproductive disorders of dairy cows

Lameness has severe negative effects on dairy cow fertility - KURA prevents lameness.

Mounting of dairy cows - unrestricted behaviour during oestrus on rubber flooring1. Behaviour during oestrus

Mounting is an important criterion in determining the time for insemination. Cows with healthy claws kept on rubber mats show this behaviour more frequently, because they can move around free of pain and safely.

The cows feel safe and have confidence in the KURA floor.
  Mounting of dairy cows on rubber significantly more often than on concrete

Every return to oestrus costs about 100 – 150 EUR!

2. Calving to conception intervals/calving intervals

A survey conducted by Strues & Malkow-Nerge (2008) revealed that animals with claw problems had notedly longer calving intervals of from 17-45 days. This confirms the results by Kremer et al. (2007): cows on slatted floors with KURA S had a 39 day shorter calving-to-conception interval – which means a cost savings of approximately returning to oestrus twice!

shorter calving to conception intervals of dairy cows on rubber flooring than on concrete floor

3. Reproductive disorders

Lame cows

  • ingest up to 16 % less feed (DM), which makes them more prone to a negative energy balance. Consequently the risk of metabolic problems increases and conception rates are lower.
  • have a 3.5 times higher risk of a delayed cycle, because the ovarian function is affected (Garbarino et al., 2009)
  • have about a 125 % higher risk of ovarian cysts and the pregnancy rate is reduced about 8 % (Melendez, 2002; Wittkowski, 2007)
4. Culling

Worldwide there are immense economic losses from the 10-15 % of culling caused by claw diseases! Infectious claw diseases – according to new studies – do not cause early culling, but mechanicaltraumatic claw diseases do (Cramer et al. 2009) – soft walking area covers reduce the occurrence of mechanical-traumatic claw diseases by up to 80 %.

Interrelation claw health – feed intake:
  • after soft covers were installed on slatted floors, cows visited the feeding place 34 % more often (Miethke, 2004)
  • elevated feedstalls with a rubber cover reduce claw diseases (Bergsten, 2002) and improve stress free feed intake (DeVries et al., 2006)

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