UK - A lameness study in heifers comparing foot trimming before and after calving has emphasised the importance of regular mobility scoring.
Rather than finding a relationship between the timing of prophylactic trimming and lameness after calving, the Royal Veterinary College has found that attention to mobility score was more important.
The study, which used three groups of Holstein heifers, housed all animals on concrete, which pre-conditioned hooves ahead of the lactation stage, noted Sophie Maherndran, study leadaer.
The groups consisted of; trimming before and after calving; trimming before calving; and trimming after calving, with mobility scoring taking place across each group.
“Whatever method you used, it doesn’t matter, the key is the mobility scoring,” Mrs Mahendran told UK Dairy Day.
“The control group also showed no difference, they were mobility scored and foot trimmed as needed.”
She explained that monthly mobility scoring is useful, explaining that some farms score fortnightly, often the more intensive farms.
Giving her advice to the industry, she said that quarterly score taking is better than nothing.
And she added: “We need to tell farmers how to mobility score and enthuse them into doing it.”