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Lameness is often the result of an adverse interaction between the cow and her environment. Managing lameness should involve preventative steps and treating cows as early as possible; clinically lame cows can have reduced milk yields for up to two months before diagnosis!
Contributing factors for lameness include lack of comfortable lying time and insufficient housing conditions.
The nutrition of the cow affects lameness in two main areas: quality of horn growth and laminitis. Horn growth is influenced by trace elements, particularly zinc, through its involvement in keratinization. Supplementing the diet with a highly available form of zinc has been shown to reduce lameness scores. Biotin, also known as Vitamin H or Coenzyme R, has also been shown to be beneficial and should also be considered for its longer term benefits.