Impacts of lameness on milk yield
Let us now consider the economic losses due to lameness: The essential criterion for dairy cattle is milk yield. And again, exercise and feed intake play a crucial role.
As previously noted, lame cows usually move much less than healthy ones. Species‐appropriate feed intake is disrupted. This weakens the cows’ metabolism, causing them to lay down more frequently and visit the feeding table less often. Ultimately, this exacerbates the decline in milk production among already compromised cows.
The cow’s severity of lameness is directly linked to its reduced milk yield. Even with a moderate lameness rating of 3 out of 5 points, there is already a noticeable 5% loss in milk. This value increases up to a 36% loss in milk if the lameness rating is severe (grade 5). The greater the severity of a cow’s lameness, the lower its milk production - with significant implications for agricultural yields. 1) 2) 3) 4)