Lameness increases culling

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Te impact of lameness on culling may depend on when it is diagnosed during lactation, according to research in the December 2004 Journal of Dairy Science.

Cornell University researchers analyzed the lameness and culling records of 2,520 cows in two New York dairy herds. Here’s what they found:

  • In general, culling due to lameness was low during the first 60 days in milk. In contrast, culling activity was greatest between 61 and 120 days in milk and toward the end of lactation.
  • Cows diagnosed with lameness during the first 60 days in milk were most likely to be culled between 121 and 240 days in milk.
  • Foot rot diagnosed between 61 and 120 days in milk had a significant impact on culling in the same stage of lactation. Sole ulcers diagnosed in the same period had a similar effect and also increased culling later in lactation.
  • Foot warts were not associated with increased culling.

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