Claw disorders are a major welfare problem for dairy cattle. Cows which can lie down easily will probably be less standing. Prolonged standing bouts, particularly on hard and rough floors, impedes the blood circulation of the claws. This phenomenon increases the likelihood of non-infectious claw disorders like sole haemorrhages and sole ulcers.
That is an important conclusion from PhD research conducted by Wijbrand Ouweltjes, researcher animal welfare and health at Wageningen Livestock Research. If cows can lie down freely, for example in the meadow or a free-range barn, the chance of these problems arising is a lot smaller.
Ouweltjes will defend his PhD thesis entitled ‘Effects of mechanical loads on the deformation and health status of claws in dairy cows’ on June 13 2018. In this announcement you will also find a short summary.
The PhD defence is preceded by a seminar ‘Locomotion in the spotlight: from fundamental insights to practical solutions’. It will be a network meeting for science, students, sector, stakeholder organisations, and industry. The meeting is open to everyone.