Claw lesions and lameness in sows are important problems in the industry as they impair sow welfare and result in economic losses. Available scoring techniques to detect claw lesions are all limited in terms of collecting data during all reproductive phases and recording all claws. The Mobile Claw Scoring Device (MCSD) was designed to address these limitations. After considering different practical situations and a design phase, two prototypes were constructed and tested. Improvements were incorporated into a final aluminium apparatus, consisting of two cameras with light-emitting diode (LED) lights mounted in a two-segment aluminium box and covered with laminated tempered glass plates. The operating system slides underneath the claws and takes video images. This final prototype was optimised and validated in an experiment with 20 hybrid sows, comparing scores for soiled claws using the MCSD against scores for clean claws using the Feet First© sow chute (as gold standard). Fifty percent of the scores differed between both scoring tools, with mainly medial claw digits deviating, but this seemed biologically irrelevant. The MCSD seems to be an appropriate alternative for on-farm claw scoring and is distinguishable from other claw scoring techniques; however, it needs further optimisation to improve the similarity between the two techniques.
|Publicatiestatus||Gepubliceerd - 26-mrt.-2019|