Mobility scoring: how to score your cows

Regularly scoring your cows for mobility is the first step towards reducing lameness in your herd.
Find out more about the benefits of mobility scoring

Mobility scoring

Mobility scoring is based on a scale from 0 to 3, with 0 being good mobility and 3 being severely impaired mobility. 

Good mobility – Score 0

Description of cow behaviour 
  • Walks with even weight-bearing and rhythm on all four feet, with a flat back
  • Long, fluid strides possible
Suggested actions
  • Routine (preventative) foot-trimming when/if required
  • Record mobility at next scoring session

Imperfect mobility – Score 1

Description of cow behaviour
  • Steps uneven (rhythm or weight-bearing) or strides shortened; affected limb or limbs not immediately identifiable
Suggested actions
  • Could benefit from routine (preventative) foot-trimming when/if required
  • Further observation recommended

Impaired mobility – Score 2

Description of cow behaviour
  • Uneven weight-bearing on a limb that is immediately identifiable and/or obviously shortened strides (usually with an arch to the centre of the back)
Suggested actions
  • Lame and likely to benefit from treatment
  • Foot should be lifted to establish the cause of lameness before treatment
  • Should be attended to as soon as practically possible

Severely impaired mobility – Score 3

Description of cow behaviour
  • Unable to walk as fast as a brisk human pace (cannot keep up with the healthy herd)
  • Lame leg easy to identify – limping; may barely stand on lame leg(s); back arched when standing and walking
  • Very lame
Suggested actions
  • This cow is very lame and requires urgent attention, nursing and further professional advice
  • Examine as soon as possible
  • Cow will benefit from treatment
  • Cow should not be made to walk far and kept on a straw yard or at grass
  • In the most severe cases, culling may be the only possible solution

Useful links

Mobility score sheet Mobility score pad

If you would like to order a hard copy of the Mobility score sheet or Mobility score pad, please contact publications@ahdb.org.uk or call 0247 799 0069.

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