When it comes to health issues on a dairy farm, lameness is usually a main concern along with mastitis and reproductive issues. Lameness includes any abnormality which causes a cow to change the way she walks. It can be caused by a range of foot and leg conditions including foot rot, digital dermatitis, laminitis, and claw disease. Lameness can be influenced by nutrition, disease, genetic influences, management, and environmental factors. Not only does lameness cause pain and distress for dairy cattle, but it also has a large economic impact on the dairy operation.
In the fact sheet Economics of Dairy Cattle Hoof Health, University of Wisconsin-Extension Calumet County Agriculture Agent Eric Ronk focused on the economic costs associated with hoof health.
Economics of Dairy Cattle Hoof Health is one of several factsheets in a hoof health series called “Walking Strong” developed by UW-Extension Dairy Team members. Other factsheets include:
- Footbath Management
- Hoof Health & Housing
- Hoof Health & Nutrition
- Ideal Footbath
- Recording Hoof Health Events
For more information regarding hoof health and/or animal well-being, visit UW-Extension Animal Well-being and Herd Health.