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Assessment Of Dairy Cattle Carbohydrate Feeding Limitations For A Lameness Preventive Diagnosis Expert System Input

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Computers in Agriculture and Natural Resources, 4th World Congress Conference, Proceedings of the 24-26 July 2006 (Orlando, Florida USA) Publication Date 24 July 2006  701P0606.(doi:10.13031/2013.21888)
Authors:   Carvalho, V., I. A. Naas, M. Mollo, V. Massafera Jr. and M. M.Vale
Keywords:   Preventive diagnostic, dairy cows, fuzzy logic, lameness

Claw lameness in dairy cows can be triggered by biomechanical factors caused by imbalances of the pressure distribution under the hooves when cows are confined in dairy operations with hard concrete flooring. Clinically, the earliest diagnosis of claw lameness is only possible by visually observing faulty locomotion. Unfortunately, the earliest pathological gait signs are characteristics of mild to severe degrees of lameness requiring veterinary intervention and causing economic losses. The results obtained, using a plantar pressure measurement system, yielded a preliminary database on claw pressure distribution, which correlated to claw length and nutritional factors (carbohydrate and fiber available for digestion) formed a preliminary knowledge base used in a Fuzzy Inference System (IRISK) for providing a method to help prevent claw lameness. In order to create the systems UI (IRISKs user interface), nutritional carbohydrate and fiber concentrations, provided by farm mixed and commercial premixed rations, had to be translated mathematically in terms of total rumen available NDF and NFC (Neutral Detergent Fiber and Non Fibrous Carbohydrate respectively) levels. A program was coded in Visual Basic, containing calculations of total DMI (dry matter intake) and accounted for live weight of the cows, lactation phase, production and environmental temperature. The total DMI was then used together with nutrition facts from raw ingredients from farm mixed rations to calculate the total rumen available levels of NDF and NFC. The First module (IRISK) uses the NDF and NFC obtained and together with claw dimensions estimates the total risk level of developing claw lesions.

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