Mobility scoring is a very effective way of assessing the lameness prevalence in your herd. When the information is used in conjunction with your foot trimmer and vet, it can be a successful way of reducing and controlling the causes of lameness on your farm.
Ideally any score 3 and 2 cows will want immediate action. Sometimes this is difficult with work commitments on farm but the sooner intervention is taken the better.
It is also important to try and keep the cows due routine foot trimming on schedule. The more that are seen routinely should result in less lame cows.
All of the VetTechs are ROMS approved mobility scorers. We can also do BCS, cleanliness and hock assessments if needed by your milk buyer.
We work to the AHDB guidelines for mobility scores which are:
- 0 – Good mobility
- 1 – Walking unevenly NOT lame. This could be due to other issues such as breeding and having too much of a straight leg set, freshly calved with a large udder or a back problem.
- 2 – Shows lameness
- 3 – Severe lameness and this is preventing them from keeping pace with the rest of the herd.
Mobility scoring can be done every six weeks and a quarterly one with the full BCS for the milk buyers if needed on your contract.
The scoring can be done straight onto a tablet allowing the report to be generated that day. Alternatively, the scoring is down via our written report with the generated analysis sent out the next day. Both of these methods details the individual cow with her score and if lame, which foot is affected.
As well as identifying foot trimming requirements from the report, it is also important to think about the cause of lameness problems and what could be causing them. This could be anything from a specific group that has to navigate a tight corner, to uneven concrete.
Hopefully, by utilising the mobility report to look into these wider issues, a plan can be implemented to prevent issues in the future. Foot bathing is an area that needs to be done regularly and correctly. However, it is important that you know the amount of water your footbath holds. This is so you can get the right percentage of solution. As with foot bathing, don’t forget to mobility score your dry cows.
Mobility Scoring Case Study
An example of a farm that has really taken control of mobility and seen a reduction in lameness is Cox, Manor Farm. When they first started mobility scoring in 2013 they had 78% of their herd sound and 8.6% of the herd at score 3. They took a team approach to tackle the lame cows. This involved picking up those scored at 2 and 3 as soon as possible and treating appropriately. Additionally, making sure their routine trims were kept on top of weekly was a high priority. This approach has resulted in an improvement to 95% of the herd sound and only 0.7% at score 3.