• Characterization of the lying and rising sequence in lame and non-lame sows

      Mumm, Jared Michael; Calderon Diaz, Julia; Stock, Joseph Daniel; Kerr Johnson, Anna; Ramirez, Alejandro; Azarpajouh, Samaneh; Stalder, Kenneth J.; National Pork Board; #15-004 (Elsevier BV, 2020-05)
      This study aimed to identify possible differences in the lying and standing sequence between lame and non-lame gestating sows. A total of 85 stall-housed sows (average parity 0.9 ± 1.14; range 0–4) were scored for walking lameness on a 3-point scale (1 = normal to 3=severely lame) while moving to a separate gestation stall for recording of one lying-standing event on days 30, 60 and 90 of gestation. A video camera was positioned on the adjacent stall so sows’ profiles were visible. Observations ceased when the sow laid-down and stood-up, or 2.5 h elapsed from recording commencement. From videos, postures and movements that occurred during lying-standing sequences were identified. Time (seconds) from kneeling to shoulder rotation (KSR), shoulder rotation to lying (SRHQ), total time to lie (TLIE); latency to lie (LATENCY; minutes) and number of attempts to successfully lie were recorded. Also, time taken from first leg fold to sit (TLS), time from sit to rise (TSR), and total time to rise (TRISE) were recorded. Sows were re-classified as non-lame (score 1) and lame (scores ≥ 2). Data were analyzed using mixed model methods with gestation day, and lameness as fixed effects and sow the random effect. On average, sows took 14.3 ± 1.39 s for KSR, 7.7 ± 0.79 s for SRHQ, 21.0 ± 1.37 s for TLIE and 63.6 ± 5.97 min for LATENCY. Furthermore, sows took 8.8 ± 2.80 s for TLS, 5.95 ± 1.73 s for TSR, and 10.3 ± 2.02 s for TRISE. There were no associations between lameness status or gestation day with time required for or the likelihood of performing the different movements of the lying and standing sequences (P >  0.05). Except for lame sows tending to sit more while transitioning from lying to standing than non-lame sows (P =  0.09). Seven different lying and 4 different standing combination deviation from the normal sequences, albeit each combination was infrequent and did not allow for statistical analysis. However, all together, deviations from the normal lying and standing sequence accounted for 22.7 % and 35 % of total observations; respectively. Under the conditions of this study, lameness did not influence the time taken or the likelihood of performing different movements and/or postures during normal lying-standing sequences. However, this could be due to lameness recorded here not being severe enough to affect the sequences. The observed deviations suggest that there is variation in the way sows lie and stand although more research is necessary to understand which factors contribute to such variation.
    • Cow and herd-level risk factors associated with mobility scores in pasture-based dairy cows

      O' Connor, A.H.; Bokkers, E.A.M.; de Boer, I.J.M.; Hogeveen, H; Sayers, Riona; Byrne, Nicky; Ruelle, Elodie; Engel, E; Shalloo, Laurence; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; et al. (Elsevier, 2020-06-24)
      Lameness in dairy cows is an area of concern from an economic, environmental and animal welfare point of view. While the potential risk factors associated with suboptimal mobility in non-pasture-based systems are evident throughout the literature, the same information is less abundant for pasture-based systems specifically those coupled with seasonal calving, like those in Ireland. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the potential risk factors associated with specific mobility scores (0 = good, 1 = imperfect, 2 = impaired, and 3 = severely impaired mobility) for pasture-based dairy cows. Various cow and herd-level potential risk factors from Irish pasture-based systems were collected and analyzed for their association with suboptimal mobility, whereby a mobility score of 0 refers to cows with optimal mobility and a mobility score ≥ 1 refers to a cow with some form of suboptimal mobility. Combined cow and herd-level statistical models were used to determine the increased or decreased risk for mobility score 1, 2, and 3 (any form of suboptimal mobility) compared to the risk for mobility score 0 (optimal mobility), as the outcome variable and the various potential risk factors at both the cow and herd-level were included as predictor type variables. Cow-level variables included body condition score, milk yield, genetic predicted transmitting ability for ‘lameness’, somatic cell score, calving month and cow breed. Herd-level variables included various environmental and management practices on farm. These analyses have identified several cow-level potential risk factors (including low body condition score, high milk yield, elevated somatic cell count, stage of lactation, calving month, and certain breed types), as well as various herd-level potential risk factors (including the amount of time taken to complete the milking process, claw trimmer training, farm layout factors and foot bathing practices) which are associated with suboptimal mobility. The results of this study should be considered by farm advisors when advising and implementing a cow/herd health program for dairy cows in pasture-based systems.
    • Differences in leukocyte profile, gene expression, and metabolite status of dairy cows with or without sole ulcers

      O'Driscoll, Keelin; McCabe, Matthew; Earley, Bernadette; Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship; 252611 (Elsevier, 2014-12-31)
      Sole ulcers are one of the most severe pathologies causing lameness in dairy cows and are associated with abnormal behavior and impaired production performance. However, little is known about how or whether lameness caused by sole ulcers affects the cow systemically. This study compared hematology profile, leukocyte gene expression, and physiological responses [metabolite, cortisol, the endogenous steroid hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and haptoglobin concentrations] of cows with sole ulcers and healthy cows. Twelve clinically lame cows (lame) were identified as having at least one sole ulcer and no other disorder, and matched with a cow that had good locomotion and no disorders (sound), using days in milk, liveweight, body condition score, and diet. Blood samples were taken from all 24 cows within 24 h of sole ulcer diagnosis. Leukocyte counts were obtained using an automated cell counter, cortisol and DHEA concentration by ELISA, and plasma haptoglobin, urea, total protein, creatine kinase, and glucose were analyzed on an Olympus analyzer. Expression of 16 genes associated with lameness or stress were estimated using reverse transcription-PCR. Data were analyzed using the MIXED procedure in SAS software (version 9.3; SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC). Lame cows had a higher neutrophil percentage, a numerically lower lymphocyte percentage, and tended to have a higher neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio than sound cows. Serum cortisol and DHEA concentrations were higher in lame than in sound cows. Lame cows also tended to have higher haptoglobin and glucose levels than sound, as well as higher protein yet lower urea levels. Sound cows tended to have higher relative expression of the gene coding for colony-stimulating factor 2 than lame, but in all other cases where differences were detected in cytokine gene expression (IL-1α, IL-1β, CXCL8, and IL-10), relative gene expression in sound cows tended to be, or was, lower than in lame. Relative expression of MMP-13, GR-α, Fas, haptoglobin, and CD62L were, or tended to be, higher in lame than sound cows. A high neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio in combination with higher cortisol levels in cows with ulcers is indicative of physiological stress. Moreover, increased DHEA and a higher cortisol:DHEA ratio, as well as a tendency for higher haptoglobin levels and increased haptoglobin mRNA expression, are indicative of systemic inflammation. Increased cytokine mRNA expression indicates activation of the immune system compared with healthy cows. Increased expression of MMP-13 mRNA has been found in cows with impaired locomotion and thus could be implicated in development of claw horn disorders.
    • Dynamic space utilization for lame and non-lame gestating sows estimated by the lying-standing sequence

      Mumm, Jared M.; Calderon Diaz, Julia; Stock, Joseph D.; Johnson, Anna K.; Dekkers, Jack C.M.; Ramirez, Alejandro; Azarpajouh, Samaneh; Stalder, Kenneth J.; National Pork Board; Iowa Farm Bureau Federation; et al. (Elsevier, 2019-02-25)
      The objective of this study was to estimate the dynamic space utilization for lame and non-lame sows using their lying-standing postural sequence profile. Eighty-five sows (parity 0.9 ± 1.14; range 0 to 4) were used. Sows were moved to a pen on 30, 60 and 90 days of gestation and a ceiling mounted camera was installed above the pen to record one lying-standing event per sow. Observations ceased when the sow lied and stood, or 2.5 h elapsed from recording commencement. Additionally, each sow was evaluated for walking lameness while moving from their gestation stall to the pen. Still frames were captured from the sows’ lying and standing sequences and were combined into a single image and measured by counting pixels from contouring the sows’ body (CONTOUR), overlaying a grid on the sow image and counting any square including any part of the sow (FULL-GRID) and only counting any square that was half full or more (HALF-GRID). The space utilized while turning around was calculated by measuring the sows’ length from snout to the base of the tail and using that length as the diameter of a circle (D-PIVOT), or as the radius of a circle (R-PIVOT). Parity was re-classified as 0, 1, and 2+. There were no observed differences in the dynamic space utilized to lie, stand or turn around between lame and non-lame sows (P > 0.05). On average, sows used 1.2 ± 0.47 m2 to lie and 1.3 ± 0.46 m2 to stand. There was no difference between the CONTOUR and HALF-GRID methods (P > 0.05); however, using the FULL-GRID sows required 0.3 m2 more floor area to lie and stand compared with the other measuring methods (P < 0.05). Space used to turn around differed between measuring method (P < 0.05). Sows required 1.9 ± 0.18 m2 for D-PIVOT and 7.3 ± 0.18 m2 for R-PIVOT to turn around. Space utilized to lie-down and stand-up increased as gestation progressed (P < 0.05). Under the conditions of this study, lameness did not influence dynamic space utilization; however, lameness recorded was relatively mild and might not have been sufficiently severe to significantly affect the results. These results could be important in decision-making process for housing specifications regarding US sow gestation housing.
    • Effect of genetic group and feed system on locomotion score, clinical lameness and hoof disorders of pasture-based Holstein–Friesian cows

      Olmos, G.; Boyle, Laura; Horan, Brendan; Berry, Donagh; O'Connor, Paula M.; Mee, John F; Hanlon, A. (Cambridge University Press, 2009-01)
      The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of the genetic group of the Holstein–Friesian (HF) and pasture-based feeding system (3 × 2 factorial arrangement) on locomotion score (six gait aspects scored from one to five), clinical lameness and hoof disorders within a seasonal calving milk production system. The three genetic groups compared had an average Economic Breeding Index (EBI) value of 40, 70 and 80: representing the Irish national average genetic merit (LOW-NA), high EBI genetic merit of North American ancestry (HIGH-NA) and high EBI genetic merit of New Zealand ancestry (HIGH-NZ), respectively. Two feed systems were compared: a high grass allowance, low-concentrate system typical of spring-calving herds in Ireland (control) and a high-concentrate system. Data from 126 cows collected across a complete lactation period were analysed using generalised estimating equations and survival analysis. Genetic group of HF had a significant effect on locomotion score, clinical lameness and hoof disorders. Higher EBI cows (HIGH-NA and HIGH-NZ) had lower hazard of poor locomotion score in some gait aspects (e.g. spine curvature) and lower odds of clinical lameness in the first 200 days post-calving (Odds ratios 0.08 and 0.24, respectively, relative to the LOW-NA) and some hoof disorders (e.g. traumatic lesions) compared with LOW-NA cows. The high-concentrate feed system showed a higher incidence and severity of digital dermatitis (P < 0.01). Thus, high EBI cows have better locomotion, fewer cases of clinical lameness and less-severe hoof disorders (i.e. digital dermatitis, white line disease and traumatic lesions) than low EBI cows. These findings have important implications for cow welfare and productivity.