In Press: Perceptions and risk factors for lameness on organic and small conventional dairy farms
Lameness is a common condition of dairy cattle that negatively affects the well-being of animals in both organic (ORG) and conventional (CON) management systems (Marley et al., 2010). Management factors that have been associated with the prevalence of lameness include the type and depth of bedding materials (Rouha Mülleder et al., 2009), housing type (Regula et al., 2004), and feeding a grazing-based diet (Haskell et al., 2006). These management factors have also been shown to differ between ORG and CON dairy farms in the United States (Zwald et al., 2004; Sato et al., 2005; Pol and Ruegg, 2007), and therefore may confound the potential effect of ORG management on incidence of lameness.
The objective of this study was to identify perceptions of lameness by dairy farmers and risk factors for lameness in dairy cows on organic and similarly sized conventional grazing and nongrazing dairy farms.
R. Richert, K.M. Cicconi, M.J. Gamroth, Y.H. Schukken, K.E. Stiglbauer, P.L. Ruegg
Journal of Dairy Science, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 13 June 2013