a1 West of Scotland Agricultural College, Crichton Royal Farm, Dumfries
A concentrate containing ground barley, soya-bean meal and fish meal was compared with one containing dried molassed sugar-beet pellets, dried distillers' grains and fish meal, in its influence on lameness in housed dairy cattle. Two groups of 24 cows were offered the diets in a 60:40 concentrate dry matter: grass silage dry matter ratio during weeks 3 to 26 of lactation. The same daily amounts of metabolizable energy and crude protein were offered to the two groups. The barley-based concentrate diet significantly increased locomotion score (indicating poorer locomotion), and the number and duration of clinical cases of lameness, compared with the sugar-beet concentrate diet. Hoof growth, wear, shape and hardness were not significantly affected by the diets. There were 16/24 cows with a locomotion score of 3 or over (1 to 5 scale) for an average of 7·3 weeks on the barley concentrate compared with 10/24 cows for 3·7 weeks on the sugar-beet concentrate. There was no significant difference between treatments in milk production or live-weight gain.
(Received September 25 1989)
(Accepted February 23 1990)
p1 Present addresses: Cyanamid of Great Britain Limited, Gosport. PO Box 7, Hampshire PO13 0AS.
p2 Wye College, University of London, Wye, Ashford. Kent TN25 5AH.