You know that lameness begins long before you see cows limp, but it is often difficult to find problems early, even if you’re looking for them. A new device developed by mechanical engineer Uri Tasch and his colleagues at the University of Maryland- Baltimore County, the University of Delaware and the University of Maryland should be able to help.

The walk-through unit is placed in parlor exit lanes, where load cells under the floor measure the force of each cow’s footsteps. The information is transferred to a computer program to determine if the cow is favoring a leg — long before you can detect it visually. Electronic ID tags track individual cow identity

The technology is being commercialized and  expected to be available on-farm in several months.

For more information: Contact Tasch at: tasch@umbc.edu