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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » Livestock Behavior Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #223573

Title: Analysis of locomotion scores with altered periparturient management

item Eicher, Susan
item SCHUTZ, M
item DONKIN, S

Submitted to: Journal of Dairy Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/14/2008
Publication Date: 7/7/2008
Citation: Eicher, S.D., Schutz, M.M., Townsend, J., Daniels, K., Donkin, S., Parkhurst, A. 2008. Analysis of locomotion scores with altered periparturient management [abstract]. Journal of Dairy Science. 91, E-Suppl. 1:404.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate locomotion scoring as a predictor of lameness in heifers and multiparous cows subjected to periparurient management change. Heifers were either milked 3 wk prior to expected calving or not milked until after calving. The multiparous cows were fed hyper-alimentation, hypo-alimentation, or control diets beginning on d -15 prior to expected calving until calving. Locomotion scores and lameness incidence were collapsed into pre- and post-calving scores for comparison because of infrequent incidence of lameness. The greatest factor tending (P=0.10) to predict lameness was parity. Although speed was greater (P<0.05) for control heifers, it did not predict lameness. However, persistence of lameness was correlated (P<0.05) with speed following calving. Overfed cows had greater (P=0.001) back arch scores than other treatments, suggesting that they may be experiencing pain associated with walking; but it was not a significant factor in predicting lameness. Odds Ratio analysis supported the ANOVA analysis. Discriminant analysis of 13 treatment-lameness categories indicated that hyper-alimentation cows had greater incidence of lameness than the others. Control heifers were again found to have fewer incidence of lameness than control cows. The first canonical function, essentially a weighted average of all 5 treatments, correlated most strongly with back arch (r = 0.914, P =0.0285) and speed (r = 0.735, P = 0.001). The second canonical discriminant function was primarily the difference between speed (r = 0.507, P = 0.001) and back arch (r=0.370, P = 0.007). The third canonical discriminant function represented extremes of the significant correlations; head bob (r = 0.835, P = 0.001) and foot rotation (r = 0.287, P = 0.039). Prepartum milking did not affect lameness in heifers and feeding routine of cows only mildly affected incidence of lameness. Results accentuate the complexity of lameness and reinforce that it develops with time. These data will be useful to determine future focus of dairy lameness research.