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Conference paper - Peer-reviewed, 2009

Walkway floor design, feed stalls, claw lesions and locomotion in Swedish cubicle-housed dairy cattle

Hultgren, J.; Telezhenko, E.; Ventorp, M.; Bergsten, C.


Effects on claw lesions and locomotion of rubber vs. mastic-asphalt flooring in solid walkways, scrapers vs. no scrapers oil top of slatted concrete walkways, and feed stalls vs. no feed stalls were studied in a 2-yr 2x2 factorial experiment, using 183 Swedish Holstein cows in a research cubicle herd. In the first year, four cow groups were exposed to different treatments in separate pens with 21 Cubicles each. In the second year, new groups were formed (34 cows contributed both years) and four new treatments applied. Cows were claw-trimmed and lesion-scored before and after an exposure period of 107 to 245 d. Locomotion was assessed by scoring Posture while standing and walking. Statistical analysis of lesion risk at the foot level was performed by generalised linear mixed modelling of heel-horn erosion, sole or white-line haemorrhage, dermatitis, and separation in the white line or sole horn at the end of the study period, of locomotion at the week level, and of locomotion at the cow level. Most cows were scored as having a mildly disturbed locomotion at least once, but at the majority of weekly scorings, locomotion was non-disturbed. Use of scrapers vs. no scrapers, as well as solid rubber vs. solid mastic-asphalt flooring, reduced the risk of disturbed locomotion. Most claw lesions were mild and we found no effects on the risk of claw lesions at the end of the study. Feed stalls improved the locomotion in second-calvers, but impaired it in older cows and increased slightly the odds of haemorrhage in hind feet; otherwise, there were no significant differences between studied floor designs.


cow; feed stall; flooring; lameness; scraper

Published in

Book title: Sustainable animal production. The challenges and potential developments for professional farming
ISBN: 978-90-8686-099-9


13th Congress of the International-Society-for-Animal-Hygiene