Comparison of Claw Health and Milk Yield in Dairy Cows on Elastic or Concrete Flooring

Abstract

This article reports on the effects of elastic (rubber) flooring compared with concrete flooring on claw health and milk yield in dairy cows. Milk yield and activity data of 53 complete lactations from 49 cows were recorded by an automatic milking system in the University of Munich Livestock Center dairy herd. Cows were kept in a loose housing system on concrete-slatted or rubber-matted slatted flooring. Claws were trimmed and measured linearly in combination with claw lesion diagnosis 3 times during one lactation period (including the transition phase). An automatic milking system recorded milk yield and activity. The net horn growth of the claws increased on elastic flooring. Therefore, correct and frequent claw trimming is at least as important for claw health in dairy herds kept on rubber flooring as for those on concrete-slatted flooring. Cows housed on rubber had an increased incidence of sole ulcers. Sole hemorrhages (except for hemorrhages associated with sole ulcers) occurred less frequently on rubber than on concrete. Results concerning digital dermatitis were difficult to assess, because manual manure scraping on rubber required sprinkling the flooring twice daily, which additionally moistened the digital skin of the cows. This might explain the greater incidence of digital dermatitis on elastic flooring. The incidence of clinically lame cows did not differ between flooring types. Cows showed greater activity on rubber, most likely caused by the more comfortable walking surface compared with the concrete-slatted flooring. The greater activity may indicate better overall health of high-yielding dairy cows on rubber flooring. Milk yield, however, did not differ between flooring types.

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Titel Comparison of Claw Health and Milk Yield in Dairy Cows on Elastic or Concrete Flooring
Medien Journal of Dairy Science
Verlag ---
Heft 10
Band 90
ISBN ---
Verfasser/Herausgeber Prof. Dr. med. vet. habil. Prisca Kremer-Rücker, Stefan Nüske, Prof. Dr. Armin Manfred Scholz, Martin Förster
Seiten 4603-4611
Veröffentlichungsdatum 01.10.2007
Projekttitel ---
Zitation Kremer-Rücker, P.; Nüske, S.; Scholz, A.; Förster, M. (2007): Comparison of Claw Health and Milk Yield in Dairy Cows on Elastic or Concrete Flooring. Journal of Dairy Science 90 (10), S. 4603-4611. DOI: 10.3168/jds.2006-549