Effect of Lameness on the Behavior of Dairy Cows under Intensive Production Systems

I. VARLYAKOV1, T. PENEV1, J. MITEV1, Tch. MITEVA1, K. UZUNOVA2 and Zh. GERGOVSKA1
1 Trakia University, Agricultural Faculty, BG - 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
2 Trakia University,Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, BG - 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

Abstract

VARLYAKOV, I., T. PENEV, J. MITEV, Tch. MITEVA, K. UZUNOVA and Zh. GERGOVSKA, 2012. Effect of lameness on the behavior of dairy cows under intensive production systems. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 18: 125-132

This review is an attempt to systematize and analyze published research to date concerning lameness and its influence on behavior of dairy cows kept in intensive conditions. It was found that lameness affects the behavior of the individual animal’s social rank and hierarchy in the herd. Cows with movement problems and found lame-ness losing position in the food trail, changing his place of rest, losing the position to enter the milking room or visits of milking robot, which changes the whole order of entry for milking. All this reflects on the one hand, their productivity, and the other on their ability to survive in the herd, which requires prompt and adequate measures by farmers to control the problem. Strict control of herd behavior, and welfare and professional attitude of the stock-man of animals can provide early indications of real change in health status of cows and it should not be ignored in the choice of technology in modern, intensive dairy cattle rearing.

Key words: welfare, herd behavior, social rank, milking parlor, health status

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