13 September 2021
Limping Up To Mating?
30 August 2021
The link between cows’ hooves and their ovaries is not always obvious; “Cows that are lame at mating can take 7 to 18 days longer than their herd mates to get pregnant,” explains Dr Steve Cranefield from New Zealand-owned veterinary medicines company AgriHealth. The link between lameness and poor reproduction is just one of the many reasons no-one wants to see cows limping as mating approaches, or any other time for that matter. If they are limping, there’s increasing evidence that both checking the hoof and providing prompt pain relief can make a big difference”, he says.
“One of the very first effects of lameness in dairy cows is reduced feed intake because bruised or damaged hooves hurt to walk on, and cows that can’t walk normally won’t graze normally either. The link between reduced feed intake and taking longer to get pregnant is well established so we need to break this chain of events”
Encouraging farmers to add pain relief like KetoMax 15% or Melovem 30 to their lame cow treatment kit means they can quickly reduce pain and inflammation as they examine and treat injured hooves. It can take weeks for a cow to recover from even moderate lameness and during that time, she can easily lose half a body condition score (BCS).
“Relief of pain is now standard practice for farmers who want to get lame cows walking normally again as quickly as possible, they recognise that every day of reduced feed intake takes a toll on milk production, BCS, animal welfare and ultimately getting in calf again”
“So along with the hoof knife, trimmers, leg rope, blocks and other tools in their lame cow kit, make sure a proven pain relief treatment is available. They’ll be glad they did, and so will their cows.”
Helpful information and advice for farmers on pain relief and cow lameness can be found in Series 3 (Wellbeing) of the AgriHealth video library, available at www.agrihealth.co.nz/video-library