Effect of various types of flooring on the condition of claws and limbs of sheep
Norsk Veterinaertidsskrift 89(11): 721-727
ISSN/ISBN: 0332-5741 Accession: 000358416
Sheep (407) were used to study the effect of flooring: (1) traditional Norwegian 'talle', 2) parallel slats, and 3) grating with diamond-shaped holes) on the condition of claws and limbs. Claw length and growth increment of the outer fore and hind claw edges were measured. The mean growth increments of hind claws with each type of floor were: 1) 7.3 plus or minus 2.1 mm; 2) 7.9 plus or minus 2.4 mm; 3) 0.1 mm. Results after a few months showed that the poorest claw formation was in sheep on slatted floors, where the claws were longest. Claw inflammation was frequent in this group. Sheep on traditional flooring did not exhibit claw inflammation, and claw growth was slower than on slats; however, these sheep were the dirtiest. Well-formed claws and limbs were found in sheep on grating and manual claw cutting was unnecessary. The animals in this group were the cleanest, but owing to the thermal properties of grating, this type was not recommended in poorly insulated sheephouses.