Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 23-6 - 39

Fig. 12. Asymmetry in weights of healthy cow (ID: 55) and lame cow (ID: 123).

Detecting Lameness from Hoof Landing
Positions
With the onset of hoof disease and lameness, certain spatial parameters such as the stride length of the cow start to change.
Stride length is the distance between two consecutive imprints of the same hoof, as shown in Fig. 13. The stride length

measurements are passed to the inference engine which evaluates the change over time to infer if lameness has set in.
A snapshot of stride length measurement of the healthy
cow (ID: 55) and the lame cow (ID: 123) are shown in Fig. 14.
Lameness results in the movement of a limb away from the
midline of the body. Hence, another useful spatial parameter for the inference engine is the abduction. It is the sideways
distance between the front hoof and the hind hoof on the
same side. An example is shown in Fig. 15. The abduction is
calculated for the left side, the right side and as an average.
Asymmetry in the left and right abduction indicates uneven
swaying of the body weight during walking.
Fig. 16 shows the abduction measurements for the healthy
cow (ID: 55) and the lame cow (ID: 123). Using the four-segment platform, the abduction is measured twice for each side
for every walk of the cow over the platform. Large scale testing
showed average abduction has strong significance, indicating
that a lame cow tends to walk with her back legs slightly further apart. A healthy cow's hind leg would be an average of 20
mm outside of the front hoof placement, compared to 30 mm
for a lame cow's leg. Although 10 mm does not seem like much

Fig. 13. Example of a stride length measurement.

Fig. 14. Stride lengths for a healthy cow (ID: 55) and lame cow (ID: 123).

Fig. 15. Example of abduction (right side).
September 2020	

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine	39



Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 23-6

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 23-6

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