• VICTOR CIACO DE CARVALHO Veterinary, FEAGRI – UNICAMP. Cx.P. 60 11, Campinas, SP, Brazil.
  • MARIO MOLLO NETO Production Engineer. FEAGRI – UNICAMP. Cx.P. 60 11, Campinas, SP, Brazil.
  • SILVIA REGINA LUCAS DE SOUZA Animal Scientist. FEAGRI – UNICAMP. Cx.P. 60 11, Campinas, SP, Brazil.
  • PAOLO VENTURI Animal Scientist. Post Graduate student – University of Bologna, Italy.
  • IRENILZA DE ALENCAR NÄÄS Engenheiro Civil. FEAGRI – UNICAMP. Cx.P. 60 11, Campinas, SP, Brazil.




lameness, animal welfare, feed bunk design


Claw horn lesions are believed to develop from increased pedal bone mobility induced by changes in the corium tissue. During the planning of barns herd owners are faced with choices of materials and dimensions, as well as feed bunk heights. Among the causes that may lead to front claw injuries there is the height of the feed bunk, as the cow changes its postural behavior in order to reach the food. This research aimed to study the dairy cows’ front claws force exerted during eating for determining
the lesion risk factor of the feed bunk height. Eight dairy cows were placed in front of the feed bunk, their front claws stepped on the pressure assessment system, and the forces exerted on front claws due to the eating postural change were recorded. The mean pressure, the maximum pressure, the floor contact area, and the mean force per region were calculated. While the cow was eating, the highest mean pressure shifted slightly towards the sole. In the lateral claw the maximum pressure
was also shifted slightly towards the toe. No difference was found in the variables analyzed for both lateral and medial sides, as well for the force distribution in the left and right claws. Results of this experiment were not conclusive, not allowing explaining either laminitis or the corkscrew deformity as a result of the force exerted in the claws by means of height of the feed bunk being a risk factor.


Download data is not yet available.


BLOWEY, R. Cattle lameness and hoof care.Ipswish: Farming Press, 1993. 88p.

CARVALHO, V.C.; BUCKLIN, R.; SHEARER, J.K.;SHEARER, L. Effects of trimming on dairy cattlehoof weight bearing and pressure distributionsduring the stance phase.Transactions of theAmerican Society of Agricultural Engineers -ASAE,St.Joseph, MI, v.48, p.653-1659, 2005.

ENTING, H.; D KOOIJ, D.; DIJKHUIZEN, A.A.,RBM HUIRNE, R.B.M. Economic losses due toclinical lameness in dairy cattle. LivestockProduction Science, Elsevier Science, v.49, p. 259-267, 1997.

GALINDO, F.; BROOM, M. The effects oflameness on social and individual behavior ofdairy cows. Journal of Applied Animal WelfareScience, Stockholm, SE v. 5, p.193–201, 2002.GREENOUGH, P.R. Applied anatomy. In:

GREENOUGH, P.R.; WEAVER, A.D. Lamenessin cattle. Philadelphia: Saunders, 1997. cap.2, p.219–232.

HIRSCHBERG, R.M.; MÜLLING, C.K.W.;BRAGULLA, H. Microvasculature of the bovineclaw demonstrated by improved micro-corrosion-casting technique. Microscopy Research andTechnique, London, UK, v.45, p. 184-197, 1999.

HIRSCHBERG, R.M.; PLENDL, J. Pododermalangiogenesis and angioadaptation in the bovineclaw.Microscopy Research and Technique,London, UK, v.66, p.145-155, 2005.

JUAREZ, S.T.; ROBINSON, P.H.; DEPETERS,E.J.; PRICE, E.O.Impact of lameness on behaviorand productivity of lactating Holstein cows. AppliedAnimal Behaviour Science, Cambridge, UK, v.83,p. 1-14, 2003.

LISCHER C.J.; OSSENT, P. Pathogenesis of solelesions attributed to lameness in cattle. In:INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON LAMENESSIN RUMINANTS, 12, Orlando, 2002.Proceedings... Gainesville: University of FloridaPress, 2002. p.89.

OSSENT, P.; PETERSE, D.J.; SCHAMHARDT,H.C. Distribution of load between the lateral andmedial hoof of the bovine hind limb. Journal ofVeterinary Medicine, Lund, SUI v.34, p. 296-300,1987.

RAVEN, T.E. Lameness in cattle and footcare.Netherlands Journal of Veterinary Science,Wagening, UK v.5, p.105–111, 1973.RAVEN, T.E. 1989. Cattle foot care and clawtrimming. Ipswich: Farming Press, 1989, 127p.

SCOTT, G. B. Variation in load distribution underthe hooves of Friesian heifers. In: H.K.WIERENGA, H.K.; PETERSE, D.J. Cattle housingsystems, lameness and behavior. Dordrecht:Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1986. cap.3, p.29-36.

SHEARER, J.K. Managing lameness for improvedcow comfort and performance. In: WESTERNDAIRY MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE, 6, Reno,2003. Proceedings...Yellow Springs:Ohio State University Press, 2003. p.170.

SILVA, L.A.F. da, FIORAVANTI, M.C.S.,TRINDADE, B.R., SILVA, O.C., EURIDES, D.,CUNHA, P.H.J., SILVA, L.M., MOURA, M.I.Enfermidades digitais em vacas de aptidãoleiteira: associação com mastite clínica, metritese aspectos epidemiológicos. Pesquisa VeterináriaBrasileira, Brasília, v. 24, p.. 217-222, 2004.

SOMERS, J.G.C.J.; FRANKENA, K.;NOORDHUIZEN-STASSEN, E.N.; METZ, J.H.M.Prevalence of claw disorders in Dutch dairy cowsexposed to several floor systems. Journal of DairyScience, Maryland, MD, v.86, p.2082–2093, 2003.

VAN AMSTEL, S.R.; SHEARER, J.K.; PALIN, F.L.Moisture content, thickness, and lesions of solehorn associated with thin soles in dairy cattle.Journal of Dairy Science, Maryland, MD, v.87, p.757-63, 2004.

VAN AMSTEL, S.R.; SHEARER, J.K. Review ofpododermatitis circumscripta (ulceration of thesole) in dairy cows. Journal of Veterinary InternalMedicine, Edinbrough, UK, v.20, p.805-811, 2006

VAN DER TOL, P.P.J., METZ, J.H.M.,NOORDHUIZEN-STASSEN, E.N. The Pressuredistribution under the bovine claws during squarestanding on a flat substrate. Journal of DairyScience, Maryland, MD, v. 85, p.1476-1481, 2002.

VAN DER TOL, P.P.J.; VAN DER BEEK, S.S.;METZ, J.H.M.; NOORDHUIZEN-STASSEN,E.N.; BACK, W.; BRAAM, C.R.; WEIJS, W.A.The effect of preventive trimming on weightbearing and force balance on the claws of dairycattle. Journal of Dairy Science, Maryland, MD,v. 87, p.1732–1738, 2004.

WARNICK, L.D.; JANSSEN, D.; GUARD, C.L.;GROHN, Y.T. The effect of lameness on milkproduction in dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science,Maryland, MD, v.84, p. 1988-1997, 2001.

WELLS, S.J.; TRENT, A.M.; MARSH, W.E.;MCGOVERN, P.G.; ROBINSON, R.A. Individualcow risk factors for clinical lameness in lactatingdairy cows. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, NewZealand, v. 17, p. 95-109, 1993.

ZAPPAVIGNA, P. Space and equipmentsrequirement for feeding in cattle housing. In:BAXTER, S.H.; BAXTER, M.R.;MACCORMACK, J.A.C. Farm animal housingand welfare. Buscksburn: Scottish FarmInvestigation Press, 1982. p.337.V.C. DE CARVALHO, M.M.NETO, S.R.L. DE SOUZA, P.VENTURI, I.A.NÄÄS.




How to Cite

CARVALHO, V. C. D.; MOLLO NETO, M.; SOUZA, S. R. L. D.; VENTURI, P.; NÄÄS, I. D. A. FEED BUNK HEIGHT IMPACT ON DAIRY COW‘S FRONT CLAWS. Revista Brasileira de Engenharia de Biossistemas, Tupã, São Paulo, Brazil, v. 3, n. 1, p. 01–08, 2009. DOI: 10.18011/bioeng2009v3n1p01-08. Disponível em: https://seer.tupa.unesp.br/index.php/BIOENG/article/view/54. Acesso em: 17 oct. 2021.