Reducing lameness in dairy cattle

Project details
There were two aspects to this project:

1. Evaluation of the benefits of on-farm technology transfer and research

2. Specific issues relating to reducing lameness on dairy farms.

During this project lame cows were examined and a questionnaire to determine the principal causes of lameness and the main lameness risk factors needing to be controlled. Lameness control strategies were then discussed and agreed with the farmer. At subsequent farm visits, cows were mobility scored, the feet of selected lame cows examined periodically and herd management practices assessed by means of a questionnaire. Management practices recorded included nutrition, housing and environment, cow walking surfaces and tracks, handling, record keeping, footbathing and levels of lameness. Farmer attitudes to the project and the relevance of lameness research to their business were assessed.

Completion Date
November 2004

Lead Contractor
Scottish Agricultural College

Other Delivery Partners
The University of Bristol
Tubney Charitable Trust


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. They are available to download.  Alternatively pads can be ordered by calling DairyCo publications on 024 7647 8702 or emailing

For further information please contact or call 024 7647 8686