Mobility scoring project

Project details
In 2007 concern was raised at the number of widely different 'locomotion scores' that were being used to assess lameness on dairy farms in the UK. This led to considerable confusion among farmers and the wider industry.

As a result, DairyCo pulled together a cross industry meeting including vets, consultants, academics, foot trimmers, farmers, milk buyers and other industry representatives, discussed both the systems and the nomenclature for scoring lameness on farm.

The term "lameness scoring" proved unpopular among farmers and others in the industry, and so "mobility score" was proposed as an alternative.

The DairyCo mobility score has four points, broadly reflecting the typical actions that farmers take when assessing cows for lameness treatment and uses simple, yet reliable, descriptors. It is based on a system used by a number of research groups for nearly a decade.

The score has been tested for repeatability and has performed as well as other scores in research. Crucially, the "mobility score" has been well received by farmers, who now perceive they are working towards a positive goal, that is, better herd mobility.

Related products and resources
The DairyCo mobility score system is available to download.  The images on the sheet indicate the mobility scores of the cows and makes suggestions on how to improve them. A mobility scoring DVD is also available.

Mobility scoring sheets have been designed to allow you to record the mobility of your herd. Alternatively pads can be ordered by calling DairyCo publications on 024 7647 8702 or emailing publications@dairyco.ahdb.org.uk.

Dairyco have developed the DairyCo Healthy Feet Programme (DHFP) which aims to help dairy farmers reduce the number of lame cows on their farms by identifying and applying the right management techniques.

For further information please contact Jenny.Gibbons@dairyco.ahdb.org.uk or call 024 7647 8686