Broken tails

Why is it measured?

Tails can get broken, damaged or shortened through mechanical damage (from scrapers/doors/parlour), inappropriate handling or other individual reasons. Tail injury is painful to the cow particularly given the constant activity of the tail and therefore compromises the cow’s welfare. Broken tails strongly suggest a problem within the system. However it must be remembered that evidence of a broken tail will remain for the lifetime of the cow and therefore the presence of broken tails within a herd may demonstrate a historical problem and not necessarily a present one. It is therefore important to establish when and how the injury occurred, in order to reduce the risk in future.

How to assess and score using the AssureWel measure

 6.       Broken tails                                                                                                                                      Herd measure
Whilst assessing the herd, record the number of animals that show evidence of a broken tail, including tails that are bent, short or injured.
Investigate and record possible causes of any broken tails observed.

  1. Mobility
  2. Body condition
  3. Cleanliness   
  4. Hair loss, lesions 
  5. Swellings
  6. Broken tails    
  7. Response to stockperson
  8. Cows needing further care
  9. Mastitis
  10. Calf/Heifer survivability
  11. Cull and Casualty Cows