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The Dual Roles of Cow Comfort in the ‘Get Lame – Stay Lame’ Hypothesis

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

Citation:  Sixth International Dairy Housing Conference Proceeding, 16-18 June 2007, (Minneapolis, Minnesota) (Electronic Only)  701P0507e.(doi:10.13031/2013.22819)
Authors:   Nigel B Cook
Keywords:   Lameness, Cow Comfort

Although there is a general understanding that there is a link between poor cow comfort and lameness, the mechanisms by which one leads to the other are poorly understood. The objective of this article is to review the environmental impacts on hoof health in the dairy cow, describing the potential interactions between cow comfort and the trigger factors which ensure cows get lame and the subsequent interactions once cows become lame which ensure that she stays lame. These are the dual roles of cow comfort. The discussion will make the case that it is the duration of daily standing activity, combined with the type of surface that the cow stands upon, that are the principal components of cow comfort that need to be addressed if we are to break the cycle of get lame stay lame.

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