Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus, Vol 82, No 2 (2017)

Evaluation of Claw Conformation by Using Two Methods of Measuring-by Ruler and Image Analysis

Michal VLČEK, Ján TOMKA, Radovan KASARDA

Pages: 193-196


The healthy claws with the correct shape are needed for non-problematic locomotion and welfare of dairy cows. Into the study 120 Slovak spotted dairy cows were included. Cows were kept on one farm in west part of Slovakia. Claws of right hind legs were evaluated after the regular functional trimming in October 2016. Claw measures as claw angle, claw length, heel depth, claw height, diagonal and claw width were analysed. Firstly, after the functional trimming the measures by ruler were taken. Secondly, the digital images of the bottom and right lateral side with ruler by digital camera Olympus SP-600 UZ were taken. Computer image analysis of digital images was performed by using NIS Elements 3.0. In addition to 6 claw parameters, total and functional claw areas were obtained from image analysis. The statistical analysis, t test and correlation between two types of measurements were performed in SAS. The correlations and the differences between measurements obtained by image analysis and taken by hand were calculated. Obtained correlation ranged from 0.11 to 0.74. Except claw angle, all correlations were significant (P<0.01). The lowest correlations were found in claw angle. The highest were found in claw width. The highest differences were found in claw angle a diagonal. The mean claw length was lower than is optimal for similar breed. Total claw area was 46.85±7.19 cm2 and functional claw area was 26.79±6.05 cm2. The higher number of observations for one parameters (for example 3) is necessary to obtain more precise comparison between both applied methods. In the future, this technique could be use as objective and very effective tool to measure claw shape.


claw measure, dairy cow, image analysis, Slovak spotted cattle

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