It's well-known that lame cattle can have reduced milk production and increased disease incidence, but the effects of lameness can also negatively affect fertility and reproduction.

Jeff DeFrain with Zinpro Performance Minerals says the link between lameness and fertility is what he considers a “hidden transaction” in the profitability equation. “Checks are either written or cashed when it comes to milk income, hoof trimming and culling,” he says. “However, the true cost of poor fertility, especially as it relates to lameness, becomes difficult to assess in most cases.”

In the March issue of Bovine Veterinarian magazine, DeFrain discusses age and lameness, the physiological effects of lameness and three steps for investigating lameness.