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(2003) reported an incidence of lameness of 21% in summer and 24% in winter. In the United Kingdom the prevalence of lameness appears to be on the rise, ...

International Journal of Livestock Research

eISSN : 2277-1964 NAAS Score -5.36

Vol 7 (12) Dec ’17

Review Article

Effect of Floor on Lameness in Crossbred Dairy Cow Madhu Mishra1, Deepak Upadhyay2, Amol Gurav2* and Vijay Domple1 ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, INDIA 1

Ph.D. Scholar, Scientist, Division of Temperate Animal Husbandry, ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Mukteswar, Nainital, Uttarakhand, INDIA

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*Corresponding author: [email protected] Rec. Date:

Jun 07, 2017 06:15

Accept Date:

Jul 16, 2017 13:12

Published Online:

November 28, 2017

DOI

10.5455/ijlr.20170607061548

Abstract Most walkways, milking parlor and feeding space in cattle houses are presently made up of concrete because it is durable, cheap and resistant to wear and hygienic. However, hard floor surface negatively affect hoof health and comfort, predisposes animal to pain and lameness and ultimately affect productivity. Lameness is world-widely reported as economically important disease. With the increased awareness for animal welfare provision of cushioned flooring in the animal house is gaining popularity. Providing soft rubber floor and sand bedding may be favorable for cow comfort, health, hygiene, and milk production. It probably reduces occurrence of lameness and mastitis in organized dairy farm. In this review attempt has been made to discuss dairy housing system in India, floors being used and problems associated with them. Further possibilities of alternative flooring have been explored. Key words: Concrete, Crossbred Cow, Floor, Lameness, Rubber Mat, Sand How to cite: Mishra, M., Upadhyay, D., Gurav, A., & Domple, V. (2017). Effect of floor on lameness in crossbred dairy Cow: A Review. International http://dx.doi.org/10.5455/ijlr.20170607061548

Journal

of

Livestock

Research, 7(12),

22-40.

Introduction In global scenario, India is the highest milk producer with a total production of 137.7million tonne (BAHS, 2015). Buffalo contribute51%, while cow produces 45% of India’s total milk (2010-11). Out of cow milk major chunk (53%) is contributed by crossbred cows. It is because average milk productivity of indigenous cow in India is only 2.2 kg/day. Since Intensive Cattle Development Project-1965, milk production of indigenous cows. In today’s scenario23% of cow’s population in India belongs to

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crossbred cattle. Current trend indicates that crossbred cattle population is increasing more rapidly (7.58

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crossbreeding became a national policy for cattle breeding (DAHD, GOI, 2012) for rapid improvement in

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DOI 10.5455/ijlr.20170607061548

International Journal of Livestock Research

eISSN : 2277-1964 NAAS Score -5.36

Vol 7 (12) Dec ’17

% per annum) than indigenous cattle and buffalo (0.85 and 1.84 %, respectively). It can be predicted that in future there will be further increase in high yielding crossbred cattle population in India. In one hand crossbred cows are better milk producer, efficient feed convertor, heavier and are more docile in nature. But on another hand they are comparatively more susceptible to climatic stress, management conditions and disease. Therefore, better care and management including comfortable housing and resting place is of utmost importance. Presently concrete or brick paved floor are used for standing, walking and loafing area of dairy housing. Concrete floor is popular as it is impervious to water, can be easily cleaned, most sanitary and durable. However, when walking and lying comfort of animal are considered floor of house act as determining factor (Sonck et al., 2009). Unfortunately concrete is far in realizing comfort necessities for standing, walking and lying. It is not the ideal walking and standing surface for cow (Phillips and Morris, 2000). It is because of its abrasive and hard nature. Another serious objection includes slipperiness as it doesn’t provide enough friction for natural locomotion and standing. Research studies suggest that coefficient of friction in concrete is lower (0.35) than required (0.4-0.7) by cow (Phillips and Morris, 2001, Telezhenko and Bergsten, 2005, Rushen and de Passillé, 2006). Similarly brick floor also have some of these serious objections. Hard floor surface adversely affects hoof health and comfort, predisposes animal to pain and lameness and ultimately affect productivity. Discomfort to dairy cow due to hard flooring can reduce the lying time and evidence suggest that decreased lying times have a harmful effect by increasing lameness incidence and claw health. Inadequate floor surface can predispose dairy cattle to several health related issues. The most prominent among which is the lameness. In India prevalence of lameness has been reported between 8 to 30.5% (Chawla et al., 1991, Singh et al., 1999, Randhawa, 2006, Sood and Nanda, 2013). In worldwide, lameness has been reported as third most economically important disease after infertility and mastitis (Enting et al., 1997). Pain sensations during lameness make it most serious animal welfare issue (Whay et al., 1997). In addition to this the significant changes in the breeding and milk production of dairy cattle in the India which are considered to be factors which have put an upward pressure on the level of lameness. With the increased awareness for animal welfare, provision of cushioned flooring in the animal house is gaining popularity. Providing soft rubber floor and sand bedding is found favorable for cow comfort, health, hygiene and milk production. It may reduce occurrence of lameness and mastitis in organized dairy farm. In this review dairy housing system in India, floors being used and problems associated with them have been discussed. Further possibilities of alternative flooring have been explored.

Housing of animal depends on prevailing climatic conditions therefore worldwide dairy cows are

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managed under a wide variety of housing and management systems. Dairy cow housing system includes

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Housing for Dairy Cow in India and Abroad

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International Journal of Livestock Research

eISSN : 2277-1964 NAAS Score -5.36

Vol 7 (12) Dec ’17

stanchion (tie stall) barns, cubicle (free stall) barns, bedded pack (straw yard or compost) barns and dirt lots (dry lots). Out of these free stall systems are becoming popular because they allow cows to be managed easily in groups and facilitate efficient feeding and cleaning (Stefanowska et al., 2001). Cubicles and/or straw yards are most commonly used in Great Britain. A straw yard system for dairy cows allows greater opportunity to display normal behaviour; leads to better hoof health and provide acceptable levels of production (Phillips and Schofield et al., 1994). In India dairy houses mostly are either of tie stall or loose housing type depending upon herd size. For smaller herd, up to 20 cows tie stall is preferred while for greater herd size loose housing is practiced. Some progressive dairy farmers also constructed free stall barns (FAO, 2010). But, there are very few large farms in India and mostly dairy farm size is below 100 cow/buffalo. Due to small size of herd mostly tie stall system is prevalent in our country. However, cows’ needs for free movement are easier to meet in a loose housing system than in a tie stall system and consequently loose housing systems are becoming increasingly common worldwide (Telezhenko and Bergsten, 2006). Before choosing housing and management system, welfare of the dairy animal should be kept in mind. Comfortable resting place, ready access to feed and water are most important aspects of housing system as poor cow comfort has long been associated with increased rates of lameness in intensively managed dairy cattle. Concrete Floor in Dairy Cattle Housing Most walkways, milking parlour and feeding space in cattle houses are concrete because it is fairly durable, cheap, wear resistant and has acceptable hygienic characteristics. Although, concrete is a far from ideal surface for cows to walk and stand on, especially when covered with manure slurry (Phillips and Morris, 2000). Hardness, abrasiveness and slipperiness are less desired features of concrete floors and can contribute to foot lesions and lameness (Bergsten and Frank, 1996). Housing the dairy cows on concrete floor has been shown to be contributory in the lameness development (Cook et al., 2005; Vanegas et al., 2006) and it has been demonstrated as a risk factor for development of sole hemorrhages (Webster, 2001; Somers et al., 2003). Hernandez-Mendo et al. (2007) observed that a 4-week rest period from concrete (by managing cows at pasture) improved locomotion scores of lactating cows. Natural locomotion behavior of the cow is not possible in concrete floors because it provide insufficient friction. The critical coefficient of friction for slippage by the cow has been suggested to be 0.4 (Phillips and Morris, 2001) while Van der Tol et al. (2002) recommend that coefficient of 0.4 -0.7 is required to provide traction, as a cow begins to start walking from a standing start. Most concrete floors have a mean

(Phillips and Morris, 2001; Telezhenko and Bergsten, 2005; Rushen and de Passille, 2006). In several

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studies, it has been found that concrete floor can adversely affect health, welfare, productivity and

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coefficient of friction of around 0.35, which is lower than that required by the cow for normal movement

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DOI 10.5455/ijlr.20170607061548

International Journal of Livestock Research

eISSN : 2277-1964 NAAS Score -5.36

Vol 7 (12) Dec ’17

reproductive performance of cow (Enevoldsen et al., 1994; Webster 2002; Singh et al., 1993). On concrete floors claw wear exceeded growth leading to severe injuries of the sole. Newly built dairy farms may have abrasive concrete floors that could lead to over-wearing of the claw horn, particularly at the toe region, which could result in ulceration of the toe and eventually toe necrosis (Bicalho and Oikonomou, 2013). Problems Associated With Flooring of Dairy Cattle House Loose housing systems offer the animals more possibility of movement. However, they can also have negative effects in some circumstances, such as making it more difficult for animals to get up and lie down or inducing injuries, and even making animals prone to lameness (Webster, 2002). However, husbandry systems are frequently associated with restraint or confinement that inhibits locomotor activity (Fraser and Broom, 1997). The floor type is one of the most critical parts of the loose housing system because of the effect it has on cattle locomotion (Stefanowska et al., 2001). Lameness in Dairy Cows Disturbed locomotion or deviation in gait due to pain or discomfort of hoof or leg injuries is called as lameness (Clarkson et al., 1996). Animal welfare and economic loss are the two major concerns associated with lameness in dairy cattle. It is often an important behavioural indicator of pain and therefore of poor animal welfare (Whay et al., 1997). Lameness is frequently counted as the top three most common disorders in dairy cattle (Whitaker et al., 1983; Enting et al., 1997). Lame cows can experience discomfort and pain of longer duration. Signs of pain are so obvious in affected cows which make it major welfare issue. Lameness has been classified as the most representative animal-based indicator of compromised welfare in dairy cattle (Whay et al., 2003). One author estimated the financial cost of lameness at over 260 $ US per cow (Guard, 2004). Lameness has been reported as third most expensive disease in Europe and America. Lameness and hoof disorder are reported in Indian cows in few studies (Chawla et al., 1991; Singh et al., 1999). In New York State, the incidence of lameness within the first 70 days of postpartum varies from 27% to 54% (Bicalho et al., 2007) while in Wisconsin, Cook (2003) reported an incidence of lameness of 21% in summer and 24% in winter. In the United Kingdom the prevalence of lameness appears to be on the rise, with reports prior to 2006 indicating a prevalence below 25% (Clarkson et al., 1996; Huxley et al., 2004; Whay et al., 2003) and more recent reports indicating a prevalence above 35% (Barker et al., 2010; Haskell et al., 2006).Overall prevalence of

Singh et al., 1999). Quite higher incidence of lameness (65.54%) was reported in crossbred cows

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moderate lame, 6.9% severe lame. It was higher than previous reports of 8.1-9.2% (Chawla et al., 1991;

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lameness in 17 different farms in northern India was 30.5%. Out of this 54.9% mild lame, 38.2%

International Journal of Livestock Research

eISSN : 2277-1964 NAAS Score -5.36

Vol 7 (12) Dec ’17

maintained at NDRI, Karnal, where about 22.97% cows were afflicted with mild, 14.19% with moderate, 21.62% with lame and 6.75% were afflicted with severe lameness (Singh et al., 2012). Lameness result in discomfort, pain, injury and distress causing reduced mobility and feed intake, losses of body weight, productivity and reproduction. Lameness gives animal base indicator of welfare of dairy cattle (Whey et al., 2003) and affect cow’s ability to interact with social and physical environment. Lameness a pain associated disease changes behaviour and lowers reproductive potentials through alteration in endocrine events controlling reproduction (Barkema et al., 1994). Lameness is a multi-factorial disorder however; many cases may be avoided simply by paying greater attention to flooring condition. Flooring is a main feature of environment that affects occurrence of lameness (Zurbigg and Blackwell, 2006). It has been found that floor surfaces which are very hard very smooth, rough, soft or too wet cause lameness (McDaniel and Wilk, 1991). The incidence of lameness was highest for concrete (32%) than other softer floor surface (Vockey et al., 2001). Clinical lameness can manifest itself as soon as four months after the animals are housed on concrete floor (Leach et al., 2005). Concrete flooring, uncomfortable stall and lack of grazing contribute to occurrence of lameness (Cook and Nordland, 2009). Herd level risk factors for lameness within free stall housed cows include stall features (Espejo and Endres, 2007) and lying surface (Cook, 2003; Espejo et al., 2006). It has been reported that lameness is more common in loose housing systems than in tie stalls (Manske et al., 2002; Cook, 2003). In authors own study, lameness score was found higher in cows housed in brick floor with combination of either concrete or rubber in covered area (Upadhyay et al., 2017). In dairy cattle, foot lesions are believed to be the main cause of lameness (Murray et al., 1996). Problems of lameness and restricted locomotion in loose housed dairy cows are to a large extent a result of housing system with concrete passageways. Lameness is negatively correlated with parity and most frequent upto 5 thparity due to increase in yield till 4thto 5thlactation (Wells 1993). Highest proportion of lameness observed in cow ageing more than 5 year. Identification of Lameness It has been stated that it is very difficult for producers to identify lameness in early stage. It was found that only one case in four cows was being identified (Whay et al., 2003).

Traditionally, changes in gait are assessed using subjective gait-scoring methods (Manson and Leaver,

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1998; Sprecher et al., 1997; Flower and Weary, 2006). Gait scoring done by making cow to walk through

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a) Subjective Gait-Scoring

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International Journal of Livestock Research

eISSN : 2277-1964 NAAS Score -5.36

Vol 7 (12) Dec ’17

a concrete passage way (1 to 5 point scale, Sprecher et al., 1997). Most suitable time to assess lameness is after milking (Flower et al., 2006). Flooring features can alter gait potentially affecting our ability to detect lame cattle. As it has been found that dairy cows have shorter strides on lower friction surfaces (Phillips and Morris, 2001), and longer strides on surfaces covered with manure slurry (Phillips and Morris, 2000). However, disadvantages of this system include the time and labor involved the subjectivity of the measure and lack of sensitivity (O’Callaghan et al., 2003; O’Driscoll et al., 2009). Furthermore, cows do not consistently present behavioral expression of hoof or limb injury (impaired locomotion) until damage is advanced (Flower and Weary, 2006). Therefore, the objective measures of indicating lameness is required. b) Kinematic Gait Analysis and Force Platforms In recent days researchers have begun using quantitative methods such as kinematic gait analysis, and force platforms (Rajkondawar et al., 2002; Van der Tol et al., 2002; Flower et al., 2005). Identification of hoof lesions, change in gait, time standing and lying or walking time by automated measure may be most suitable (Pastell and Kujala 2007; Weary 2009; Tadich et al., 2010). Flower et al. (2006) calculated basic kinematic measures namely stride length, maximum stride height, stride duration, stance and swing durations, and hoof speed for each hoof using video recordings in motion analysis software. Lame cow reduce the weight they place on the lame leg when standing and measures of how cows distribute their weight between their legs have been used to identify lame cow (Pastell et al., 2006; Singh et al., 2012). Measurement of how a static cow distribute its weight (Pastell et al., 2010) and weight shifting between legs on different flooring may help in detection of lameness (Chapinal et al., 2011; Pastell and Kujala, 2007). Claw Health Problems Painful foot lesions are associated with most cases of lameness in dairy cows. Sole ulcers, white line disease, foul-in-the-foot and digital dermatitis have been shown to be the predominant lesion types associated with lameness. Majority of claw diseases in cows are caused due to extreme local overload to dermis of the sole (Distl and Mair, 1993). Subclinical corium damage is one of the most common form observed in dairy herds (Bergsten, 1994). During the subclinical stage ulceration, horn erosion, and hemorrhages can occur in the weight bearing surfaces. Claw disorders and lesions associated with laminitis are primarily a hind lateral claw problem (Bergsten, 1994; Murray et al., 1996). Proportion of

(Greenough and Vermunt, 1991). The white line was the most affected claw zone for lesions of any

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al., 1996). Furthermore, lesions in the lateral claws were three times more severe than in the medial claws

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claw lesions in hind feet was found as high as 88% out of which 65% were in the lateral claw (Murray et

International Journal of Livestock Research

eISSN : 2277-1964 NAAS Score -5.36

Vol 7 (12) Dec ’17

severity; however, the sole ulcer site was most affected by more severe lesions (Vockey et al., 2001). Reports on the prevalence of claw horn lesions, mainly from European herds showed that over 80% of animals were affected (Bergsten, 1994) signifying that this is a widespread problem. However, there is little epidemiological data from Indian herds where dairy operations often includes different environment and management factors than are found on many European farms. Large amount of individual animal variation in the number and severity of claw lesions observed when animal housed in different flooring (Vockey et al., 2001). Heifers on hard flooring had higher growth and wear rate of claws and a higher prevalence of sole hemorrhages, heel horn erosion, overgrown claw and dermatitis than heifers on deep straw bedding (Bergsten, 2010). It was also found that there was 3.6 times higher risk for lameness, 2.2 times higher risk for sole hemorrhage and ulcer and 2.8 times higher risk for white line hemorrhage in animals on concrete slats compared to those on rubber slats (Bergsten, 2010). Some studies suggested the beneficial effect of housing on straw around calving (e.g. Webster, 2001; Laven and Livesey, 2004) on sole lesions post-partum while, Boyle et al. (2005) found that there was no effect of rubber flooring on sole and white line lesion scores. However this effect of softer flooring changes with hoof management practices. Soft flooring compared with concrete flooring does not affect the incidence of clinical lameness if claws are trimmed frequently and functionally (Kremer et al., 2007). Periparturient period is the phase where the chance of developing claw lesions are more. The prevalence of claw lesions reaches to peak 2 to 4 month after calving (Leonard et al., 1996). In contrast, the higher incidence around 4 month prepartum and at calving than at 2 month postpartum has also been reported (Greenough and Vermunt, 1991). Sole ulcers and white line disease are the most prevalent diseases associated with lameness and pain (Murray et al., 1996) comprising 65% of all lesions diagnosed in visibly lame cows (Bicalho et al., 2007). Although all hoof lesions do not cause lameness (Manske et al., 2002; Logue et al., 2004). Smilie et al. (1999) and Vockey et al. (2001) conclude that investigating claw lesions alone might be insufficient for assessing lameness in dairy herds. Leg Injuries Physical injuries to the animal indicate the status of herd health and are negative effect of the production environment (Enevoldsen et al., 1994). Leg injuries are one among them and they were found most frequent in the carpal (knee) and tarsal (hock) joints. Leg injuries were suggested as an important indicator of welfare by the expert worldwide (Whay et al., 2003). Severe injuries on leg may cause pain and suffering (Wechsler et al., 2000). The prevalence of hock hair loss and ulceration was greater than the

swelling found to reduce total daily lying time, which might be due to experience of pain during lying

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(Rushen et al., 2007). Milk production and dry matter intake estimated to be reduced by109 kg and 48kg,

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prevalence of hock swelling (Fulwider et al., 2007; Rutherford et al., 2008; Kielland et al., 2009). Knee

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International Journal of Livestock Research

eISSN : 2277-1964 NAAS Score -5.36

Vol 7 (12) Dec ’17

respectively due to hock lesions associated with lameness (Bareille et al., 2003). Further farms with low milk yield have been observed with a lower prevalence of hock injury than farms with higher milk yield (Rutherford et al., 2008). A positive correlation has been found between leg injuries and somatic cell count (Fulwider et al., 2007); demonstrating that leg injuries also leads to poor udder health. Flooring of house is again a major determiner of this condition. Problems with getting up and lying down due to poor design and unsuitable lying surfaces can predispose to lesions to the hock, knees and teats (Munksgaard and Chaplin, 2000). Hock and knee injuries were commonly described as being associated with a poor quality lying surface (Oertli et al., 1995). Generally, more abrasive and harder floor surfaces (Rushen et al., 2007) are associated with more injuries. Sand stalls were found to be protective with regard to hock joint lesions compared to concrete (Vokey et al., 2001). There is a negative relationship between floor softness and injuries as illustrated in several studies. Sand bedded stalls unfailingly have been shown to be associated with the fewest injuries compared to mattress stalls (Weary and Taszkun, 2000; Fulwider et al., 2007). Mattresses, compared to hard rubber mats have been associated with less injuries (Livesey et al., 2002; Kielland et al., 2009). Further hard rubber mats are associated with less injury in comparison to concrete stalls (Sogstad et al., 2005; Rushen et al., 2007). Housing cows on a deep-bedded straw pack has been associated with a lower prevalence (Haskell et al., 2006; Fulwider et al., 2007) and reduced incidence (Livesey et al., 2002) of hock and knee injuries than the previously mentioned stall bases. Different flooring surface combinations were also examined and improvement in hock lesions was found greater for “Concrete-Sand” and “Rubber-Sand” than for Concrete in all places (Vockey et al., 2001). However few studies (Kielland et al., 2009; Norring et al., 2008) were unable to find association between flooring type and leg injuries. Apart from the flooring the housing system itself also found to be associated with the leg injuries. It is more common to have leg injuries in housing under complete confinement compared to those with access to pasture (Rutherford et al., 2008). Leg injuries were never observed when cows were housed in a bedded pack with continuous access to pasture in 2.5 years study period (Krohn and Munksgaard, 1993). Published evidence indicates that injuries are more prevalent in cows housed in tie-stalls than free-stalls (Busato et al., 2000). This indicated that giving access to pasture will be useful in reducing the leg injuries and further complications. Hocks and knees of cow remain constantly in contact with floor when they are lying therefore, it is very important that a soft, non-abrasive and comfortable surface be provided as illustrated by these findings.

Association between various flooring with cow behaviour and comfort has been found in several studies.

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Lying time and bouts have been reduced when cows are forced to lie on hard surfaces (Natzke et al.,

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Behavioural Pattern

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International Journal of Livestock Research

eISSN : 2277-1964 NAAS Score -5.36

Vol 7 (12) Dec ’17

1982; Oertli et al., 1995). Cows provided with a softer bed are known to stand up and lie down twice as often as cows on concrete (Haley et al., 2001; Chapinal et al., 2009). Haley et al. (2001) found that housing cows in large pens with a mattress flooring increased lying time by 4 h per day compared to housing them in tie stalls with concrete flooring. Apart from this poor comfort of lying surface increased preparation time required by the cows to lie down (Herlin, 1997) and prolonged duration of lying down movements (Oertli et al., 1995). A long duration of lying down movements may, on a motivational level, indicate difficulties of the cows to accept the quality of the lying area surface (Wechsler et al., 2000). Negative changes in lying behaviour are generally taken as an indication of poor welfare (Fisher et al., 2003) and poor cow comfort (Krohn et al., 1992). Increase frequency of abnormal lying down and rising behaviors was a risk factor for lameness (Dippel et al., 2009). Increased standing time in adverse footing condition for too long affects blood supply and horn growth of hoof. This increases the risk of developing foot related problems. Locomotion score was also found associated with lying time (Juarez et al., 2003). Improvement in behaviour traits regarding activity, gait, or mounting (Kremer et al., 2007; Platz et al., 2008) was found on housing in grass-based systems during the winter months. Feeding time was not much found to be affected by flooring (Boyle et al., 2005; Stefanowska et al., 2001; Fregonesi et al., 2004). It appears that cattle maintain eating times even when conditions at the feed bunk are less than optimal. Preference of Dairy Cow for Lying Surface In various behavioural studies it has been established that dairy cow voluntarily select the comfortable flooring (Natzke et al., 1982; Jensen et al., 1988; O’Connell et al., 1992; Herlin, 1997). Cows show preferences between soft or hard (Norring et al., 2010) and in wet or dry surfaces (Fregonesi et al., 2007). Cows clearly prefer to stand and walk on rubber compared to concrete floors (Bergsten, 2010). Cow preferences for softer lying surfaces corresponded with reduced incidence and severity of leg injuries in dairy cows (Tucker et al., 2003). Cows were found to show a preference for standing and walking on soft flooring such as soft, textured rubber compared with concrete (Telezhenko et al., 2007) and will stand in bedded cubicles to obtain relief from concrete passageways (Boyle et al., 2007). Effect of Different Flooring on Horn Growth and Wear It is known that in natural condition rates of claw horn growth and wear are almost equal and therefore the shape is nearly unaffected over time (Vermunt and Greenough, 1995). Hoof horn growth and wear

or sand had generally higher growth and wear rates; on the other hand, cows with no exposure to either

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The amount of hoof wear is determined by the abrasiveness of the floor surface. Cow housed in concrete

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were found positively correlated (Vokey et al., 2001) which means hoof growth is affected by its wear.

International Journal of Livestock Research

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material in their pen had significantly lower growth and wear rates of claws (Vockey et al., 2001).Rubber mattresses were less abrasive and therefore related with lower claw wear rates than for cows in pens with concrete on sand (Vockey et al., 2001). Sole wear occurs most rapidly along the abaxial margin of the bearing surface of the claw (Tranter and Morris, 1992) thus the mid-sole area will soon be in a contact with the floor and overloading of the central area might cause trauma of the corium. Increased net horn growth of dorsal wall of claw was reported in farms that make use of rubber floors (Telezhenko et al., 2005; Kremer et al., 2007). However, several studies found no significant differences in the rates of claw growth and wear between concrete floors and rubber mats (Vokey et al., 2001; Telezhenko et al., 2005). Effect of Floor Surface on Reproduction and Production Changes in oestrous behaviour due to flooring have been studied by several researchers. It has been observed that floor with high grip coefficient resulted in more intense and prolonged oestrous behaviour (Larkin et al., 2003). On concrete flooring cows were found to express poor heat symptoms than on rubber flooring (Vailes and Britt 1990; Platz et al., 2008). Duration of oestrus and number of mounts were significantly increased on rubber slatted floor, pasture and straw compared to concrete slats (Larkin et al., 2003). Kremer et al. (2012) reported significantly less days to first breeding, higher conception rate, double heat detection rate and less days open in the rubber-slatted floor than concrete-slatted flooring. However, contradictory evidences are also available which shows that the rubber flooring had no effect on oestrous events or reproductive performance (Boyle et al., 2005). Until today little published evidence are available which shows beneficial effect of rubber floor on milk yield. Comparison of cows housed on concrete or rubber flooring did not show any differences regarding daily average milk yield (Kremer et al., 2007; Pempek and Botheras, 2009, Upadhyay et al., 2015), but demonstrated lower somatic cell counts in cows housed on rubber flooring (Kremer et al., 2007).It indicates that a lesser lying could be remunerated by a higher feed intake during the time spent at the feed bunk, and therefore, no decrease regarding the milk yield was detected. Hygiene and Udder Health of Dairy Cattle in Different Flooring The availability of a clean and dry lying area can be influenced by the frequency of cleaning (Fregonesi and Leaver, 2002), however, it also can be affected by the type of floor in the house. Cows on mattresses found slightly significantly dirtier than those on mats when udder dirtiness alone was considered (Fulwider et al., 2007). Hygiene of various body point of the animal reflects the unclean area of the

unhygienic dirt lots. The manure ultimately gets transfer from the lower legs and tail to the udder (Cook

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The upper leg and flank zone reflect contamination from lying in manure on the rear of stalls and in wet

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house. Dirtier lower leg zone indicate cows are walking through area manure contaminated alleyways.

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et al., 2002). The association between clean housing, clean animals and lower herd bulk tank somatic cell counts (SCC) has been well documented well (Barkema et al., 1998; Chaplin et al., 2000). In several studies poor hygiene of the hind legs and udder was found associated with increased somatic cell count (Schreiner and Ruegg, 2003; Reneau et al., 2005). While Fulwider et al. (2007) found no difference in SCC by different bed type. What Would Be The Ideal Flooring For Dairy Cow? Ideally housing or management systems should consider animal’s preference to improve welfare. Quality of flooring, especially in terms of shape, softness, friction and hygiene is of great importance for the health of feet and legs of cow. The floor of housing system highly associated with the comfort during walking and lying (Sonck et al., 1999) and badly constructed or finished floors are the most important causes of developing hoof and leg lesions (McDaniel & Wilk, 1991). It is clear from animal behavior experiments that cows do not lie on hard floors if given a choice (Norring et al., 2010). It is also known that cattle are able to distinguish between walking surface that differs in traction (Phillips and Morris, 2000). Softness of the floor indeed is one of the most important properties of flooring (Irps 1983). Soft and less slippery floor can reduce various gait abnormalities (Wechsler et al., 2000). Harsh abrasive surfaces (like brick paving) disturb the balance between outer and inner digits of the rear feet and predisposes for claw injuries and lameness. Irps (1983) observed that for standing animals, a hard floor is sufficient, whereas for lying, the cattle prefer a soft floor. Lack of soft bedding increases standing time and exposure to unhygienic conditions particularly for rear feet (Bergsten, 1994). Irrespective of housing system chosen the facility must provide comfortable place for cow to lie down. Alternatives to Concrete Floor for Animal House Rubber Floor Softer and more resilient flooring materials like rubber might be future alternatives in floor for dairy cows to improve comfort and hygiene for the feet. It was found that rubber mats are more yielding and have a lower thermal conductivity than concrete (Boe et al., 2007). Cows housed with rubber covered passage were found to spend more time standing on the rubber area than on concrete, which indicated reduced discomfort during standing (Fregonesi et al., 2004; Boyle et al., 2007). In particular, rubber flooring at the feed area may have advantages for cows because cows can spend up to 25% of their time feeding and the majority of the remaining time lying down (Fregonesi et al., 2004). Covering concrete floors with

Vanegas et al. (2006); inconclusive results were reported by Fjeldaas et al. (2011), O’Driscoll et al.

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potential benefits are inconsistent: beneficial effects were reported by Ouweltjes et al. (2011) and

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rubber flooring appears to be a reasonable preventive measure, but studies that have evaluated its

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(2009) and Vokey et al. (2001) and adverse effects on lameness were reported by Kremer et al. (2007) and Platz et al. (2008). Kremer et al. (2007) reported an increased incidence of sole ulcers and a significant increase in net horn growth for the cows kept on rubber floors. Assigning rubber floor in the feeding area did not increase feeding time or the feed intake (Fregonesi et al., 2004), however it increased the time spent standing in the feed area and reduced the time spent standing or lying in the lying stalls (Fregonesi et al., 2004; Ouweltjes et al., 2011). Cows walked more when on rubber flooring compared to concrete flooring and made more visits to an automated milking system (Ouweltjes et al., 2011). Soft lying mat found equivalent to straw bedding in term of cow behaviour but less favourable with leg injury (Wechsler et al., 2000). Heifers showed preference for standing on cushioned flooring rather than concrete during late pregnancy. Further, it increases feeding time but not dry matter intake (Boyle et al., 2005). Therefore, the potential benefits of the additional cushioning and improved footing provided by rubber floors are likely neutralized by additional standing time and claw overgrowth. Sand Flooring Sand bedded stall for dairy cattle are in use in several countries around the world. Niles and Bucklin (1994) reported that benefits of sand bedding in their milking stalls included decreased foot and leg problems, increased udder health and vastly improved cow comfort. Gomez and Cook (2010) concluded that cows on deep- bedded sand stalls spent significantly less time standing and more time lying compared to cows housed on mattress. The increased resting time observed in cows housed in deepbedded sand stalls is important evidence of superiority of this housing system regarding cow comfort standards. In comparison with straw bedding it was found that lying time was longer with straw than with sand. Despite these behavioral effects, the cleanliness and hoof health were better for cows kept on sandbedded stalls than those kept in straw-bedded stalls (Norring et al., 2008). Andreasen and Forkman (2012) also reported that cows housed in facilities with deep-bedded sand stalls were at lower risk of being dirty, had fewer integument alterations on the hocks (e.g. hairless patches, lesions, and swellings), were less likely to be lame, and produced significantly more milk compared with cows housed in facilities with mattresses. Provision of sand was found advantageous than brick paving in open area for lameness (Upadhyay et al., 2017). Dairy cows need time to adapt to deep bedded sand stalls, and when an adaptation period was allowed, dairy cows often preferred sand to rubber mats, mattresses, and concrete (Tucker et al., 2003). There is much variation in sand within a given geographic area, and even more

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hairless knees and lesions of the tarsal joints and tuber calcis (Fulwider et al., 2007).

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among different regions of the country. Finer-grained sand was less abrasive and resulted in fewer

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Conclusion In conclusion it can be said that worldwide due to increased animal welfare standards, flooring of the animal house will take important position. It is related to all the aspects of livestock production including health, reproduction, milk production, hygiene and economics. Presently being used concrete or hard flooring has been found detrimental to livestock health and production. Increased incidence of lameness again becoming a major concern in intensive dairy farms. Further due to increase in milk productivity of the animal housing standards of the animals need to be improved. Therefore, irrespective of housing system chosen, the facility must provide comfortable place for cow to lie down.

2. 3. 4. 5.

6.

7.

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

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Andreasen, S.N. and Forkman, B. 2012. The welfare of dairy cows is improved in relation to cleanliness and integument alterations on the hocks and lameness when sand is used as stall surface. J. Dairy Sci. 95:4961–4967. Anonymous. 2012. Annual Report 2011-2012. Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. New Delhi. Basic Animal Husbandry Statistics. 2015. Government of India, Ministry of Agriculture, Department of animal husbandry dairying and fisheries. Bareille, N., Beaudeau, F., Billon, S., Robert, A. and Faverdin, P. 2003. Effects of health disorders on feed intake and milk production in dairy cows. Livest. Prod. Sci. 83:53-62. Barkema, H. W., Schukken, Y. H., Lam, T.J.G.M., Beoboer, M. L., Benedictus, G. and Brand, A. 1998. Management practices associated with low, medium, and high somatic cell counts in bulk milk. J. Dairy Sci. 81: 1917-1927 Barkema, H. W., Westrik, J. D., van Keulen, K.A.S., Schukken, Y. H. and Brand, A. 1994. The effects of lameness on reproduction performance, milk production and culling in Dutch dairy farms. Prev. Vet. Med. 20:249-259 Barker, Z. E., Leach, K. A., Whay, H. R., Bell, N. J. and Main, D. C. J. 2010. Assessment of lameness prevalence and associated risk factors in dairy herds in England and Wales. J. Dairy Sci. 93:932–941. Bergsten, C. 1994. Haemorrhages of the sole horn of dairy cows as a retrospective indicator of laminitis: an epidemiological study. Acta Vet. Scand. 35: 55-66. Bergsten, C. 2010. Impact of Flooring on Claw Health and Lameness. WCDS Advances in Dairy Technology. 22: 241-251. Bergsten, C. and Frank, B. 1996. Sole haemorrhages in tied primiparous cows as an indicator of periparturient lameness: effects of diet, flooring and season. Acta Vet. Scand. 37: 383-394. Bicalho, R. C., and Oikonomou, G. 2013. Control and prevention of lameness associated with claw lesions in dairy cows. Livest. Sci. 156:96–105. Bicalho, R.C., Cheong, S.H., Cramer, G. and Guard, C.L. 2007. Association between a visual and an automated locomotion score in lactating Holstein cows. J. Dairy Sci. 90: 3294–3300. Boe, K. E., Andersen, I. L., Buisson, L., Simensen, E. and Jeksrud W. K. 2007. Flooring preferences in dairy goats at moderate and low ambient temperature. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 108:45–57. Boyle, L. A., Mee, J. F. and Kiernan, P. J. 2007. The effect of rubber versus concrete passageways in cubicle housing on claw health and reproduction of pluriparous dairy cows. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 106: 1-12. Boyle, L., Mee, J., O’Donovan, M. and Kiernan, P. 2005. Welfare and health of dairy cattle on out wintering pads or in cubicle housing with or without cushioned flooring. Project report. RMIS No. 5139 Teagasc, Dairy Production Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork

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kept in cubicle systems with straw bedding or soft lying mats. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 69:189–197. 122. Wells, S.J. 1993. Individual cow risk factors for clinical lameness in lactating dairy cows. Prev. Vet. Med. 17:95-109 123. Whay, H. R., Waterman, A. E. and Webster, A. J. F. 1997. Associations between locomotion, claw lesions and nociceptive threshold in dairy heifers during the peri-partum period. Vet. J. 154:155-161. 124. Whay, H.R., Main, D.C., Green, L.E. and Webster, A.J. 2003. Assessment of the welfare of dairy cattle using animal-based measurements: direct observations and investigation of farm records. Vet. Rec. 153:197–202. 125. Whitaker, D. A., Kelly, J. M. and Smith, E. J. 1983. Incidence of lameness in dairy cows. Vet. Rec. 113: 60-62.

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