Authors: SILVANA POPESCU, CRISTIN BORDA, DANA C. SANDRU, CRISTINA I. HEGEDUS
Abstract: The loser cow concept was introduced in scientific literature in 2005, by the Danish researcher Thomsen, referring to the cow 'unable to keep up with the rest of the herd'. Since in Transylvania (Romania) the great majority of cattle are kept in extensive breeding systems, in small and middle sized farms, the purpose of the present study was to establish the prevalence of loser cows in such systems. The identification of loser cows was done based on a clinical protocol including 7 clinical signs, from which the loser cow score was calculated. Seven hundred and sixty nine cows in 123 small farms (2-15 cows/farm) in Transylvania were evaluated. The prevalence of loser cows in the investigated farms was between 0% and 13.3%. The overall prevalence of the loser cows (in 769 assessed cows) was 1.82%, a figure that can be considered low. Our study was meant to present a global image of the loser cows in a traditional type of animal housing, still present in Romania as well as in many other regions of the world.
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