Trine Campbell of Cuil Farm, Castle Douglas, has been using the CowAlert lameness module since early 2018. The system has helped them to free up valuable time and get on top of lameness, reducing incidence from around 10-12% to just 5% over the last two years:
“Previously, mobility scoring was something we did in a hurry, just before a visit from the foot trimmers. It was both difficult and time consuming as we did it during milking, when cows were able to hide their lameness as they rushed to get past. When the new CowAlert lameness module came out beginning of 2018, we started using the amber and red alerts to select cows for the trimmers in addition to routine trims, based on a schedule of 2 trims per cow per year. For the last couple of years, we have succeeded in further reducing our mobility score to an average of around 5% lameness (score 2&3). We no longer use manual mobility scores and only rely on the automated mobility scoring system on CowAlert. We feel this is a more accurate and consistent measure of cow foot comfort as it’s measured 24/7, not just in a quick run-by!
“Our current protocol for foot-care involves foot baths 5 days a week and foot trimming every 2 weeks, selecting pre-dry off cows for routine trimming along with the amber and red alerted cows in the last fortnight.”
“We find that our lameness level is now so low that an acutely lame cow is spotted very quickly by staff. But we have the assurance that any lameness missed will be picked up by CowAlert.”
“The lameness module also lets you move alerted cows onto a trim list, and from here you can enter a diagnosis once the cause is found for easy tracking of each animal. In this last year the percentage of cows trimmed with diagnosis of diseased claws has reduced from 16% in October 2018 to 9% in August 2019, and we are seeing less and less severe foot lesions,” Trine concluded.