Welfare

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Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan


Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:



Author(s): Galindo F;Broom DM;Jackson PGG;
Publication Date: January 1, 2000
Reference: , vol. 67: pp. 335-341.

Summary:

The number one welfare concern and one of the more important economic concerns in dairy cattle is lameness. There are numerous causes of lameness. What remains unclear is why certain individuals within the same environment are more prone to foot lesions than others. It is thought that differences in social and individual behaviour may be the underlying cause of these differences. The incidence of lameness in 40 dairy cows was compared with their social behaviour and individual time budgets. The cows’ agonistic and individual behaviours were videotaped. From these tapes the cows social status was determined and cows were categorized as low, middle or high ranking. The rate of lameness during this study was 42%. Social rank did not affect the amount of time the cows spent standing. Low ranking cows did, however, spend more time standing still in the passageways and standing halfway in the cubicle than middle or high ranking sows. The amounts of time spent standing did not differ between lame cows and cows that were not lame. Cows that did become clinically lame did stand half in the cubicles longer and were displaced from the cubicles less than cows that were not lame. This study may offer future researchers an idea of the direction to go when trying to study the relationship between behaviour and lameness.

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