Objective- Evaluation of leg scoring as a method for hoof trimming neccesity.
Design- Prospective randomised trial.
Animals- Hundred and sixty holstein dairy cows.
Procedure- One hundred and fifty cows selected in a dairy farm in dry period 2-3 weeks before calving (stage one), all cows were photographed, right, left and overall scores (A three point scoring system, in which score one is for normal cows and score three is for extremely outward rotated hindfeet) was given by 5 observers. Cows were photographed 30 days after parturition (Stage two), Days in Milk (DIM) 120 (Stage three) and DIM 150 (Stage four). Agreement of the observers in different stages, and leg score changes during time was evaluated using one way ANOVA. Distribution of leg scores in different stages compared using Chi-square test.
Results- No statistical difference was recorded between observers in each stages except stage two. The highest score was recorded in stage one (2.08±0.72) and the lowest recorded in stage two (1.56±0.64). After parturition overall score increased till 120 DIM (1.8±0.71) but no significant changes recorded by increasing DIM (1.85±0.74) and after hoof trimming. Distribution of score three cows were reduced significantly in stage two in comparison to stage one and increase significantly in stage three in comparison to stage two. No statistical difference recorded between stages three and four. The average number of cows in score three were 27.1, 5.3, 19.2, and 21.2 percent in stages one to four respectively that is higher than previously reported numbers.
Conclusion and Clinical Relevance- Leg scoring in cows with equal days in milk is useful. Hoof trimming cannot reduce leg scores but can prevent its growing trend.