Zinpro Corporation recently announced the launch of its First Step App, a new educational resource for the dairy industry. The app features a locomotion scoring assessor to help track locomotion scores and estimate the cost of lameness in dairy cattle.

This represents the first industry-wide release of a digital application from the desktop version of Zinpro's First Step dairy lameness assessment and prevention program. Developed by Zinpro Corporation, in conjunction with Dr. Nigel Cook from the University of Wisconsin – School of Veterinary Medicine, the program provides a comprehensive assessment of overall lameness risk factors on a dairy to help manage and prevent cattle lameness.

By its own standard, the locomotion scoring systembuilt into the app is a simple and useful tool to help improve dairy cattle lameness recognition. It uses a 1-to-5 scale and is based upon observations taken while the cow is standing and walking (gait), with a special emphasis on the cow's back posture. Through the use of locomotion scoring, dairy producers can assess the incidence and severity of lameness within their herd.

Now available for iPad devices through iTunes, the new app includes:

  • Easy-to-use scoring pad
    • Track locomotion scores within a herd directly on your iPad.
  • Economic analysis
    • Use the economic calculator, in conjunction with locomotion scoring, to help determine an extra profit potential your herd may achieve by reducing lameness prevalence.
  • Save, reference and send locomotion scoring records
    • Assessments can be saved, sent by email and referenced over time to measure a lameness prevention program's effectiveness.
  • Add comments and photos to reports
    • Add images and comments to your assessment reports to identify cows requiring follow-up or potential opportunities for improvement within a facility. This can help raise awareness with dairy managers, aiding in their decision-making process.
  • Locomotion scoring training videos
    • Learn how to locomotion score dairy cattle.

"Lameness control is vital to dairy farm profitability because it essentially affects everything that a cow does in a given day," said Dr. Daryl Kleinschmit, research nutritionist for the company. "Estimates show that each case of clinical lameness costs a dairy producer about $350 due to decreased milk production and fertility, treatment and labor costs, and early culling."


Dairy personnel should score cows that are standing and walking on a flat, level surface that provides adequate traction. Animals should walk naturally and not run when being scored. An ideal location for locomotion scoring is in return alleys following milking. By identifying even slight back arching, personnel may be able to catch lameness in its initial stage and treat it before more serious lesions develop.

—From Zinpro Corporation news release

The First Step App’s economic calculator. Photo provided by Zinpro Corporation.