100% Independent, 100% for you

How to drive down cell counts and mastitis

Everyone knows that dairy herd mastitis costs money, so reducing incidence is key. Our target is less than 30 cows per 100 cows per year, and SCC’s below 120. Above these levels the costs to your dairy business escalate alarmingly. The cost of a single case in lost milk, extra culls and treatment is at least £250/case.

Using Interherd and Uniform we analyse your records, identifying the source of infection and what management changes are needed.

Coping with Dairy Herd Mastitis

Mastitis is the inflammation of a cow’s mammary gland usually caused by bacteria entering the teat canal and moving to the udder. There are two main types of mastitis in cows:

Contagious mastitis (cow-associated mastitis)

The main bacteria causing contagious mastitis are Staph aureus and Strep agalactiae. They mostly live inside udders or on teat skin and are spread in a number of ways. Either on the milkers' hands or towels/cloths during teat preparation, by splashes of infected milk during stripping, or by cross flow of milk between teat cups during milking or via milking liners between cows. 

Strep agalactiae bacteria tend to locate in duct areas of the udder and are very sensitive to penicillin, so have relatively high cure rates. Staph aureus forms pockets of infection within the udder which are protected from antibiotics. Cure rates are therefore much lower.

Strep uberis is sometimes spread at milking. Strep uberis is an environmental organism, but once inside the udder can act as a contagious one too, and therefore needs a different approach to control. 

Environmental Mastitis

The main bacteria causing environmental mastitis are E. Coli and Strep uberis. The most common sources of them are dirty teats/cows, bedding, calving pens, scrape passageways and contaminated water sources. Housed cows tend to be more at risk to environmental mastitis than grazing cows, but dirty paddocks/tracks can also be a problem.

E. Coli infections generally cause very sick cows, and infections do not generally persist and recur.  Strep uberis don't always respond well to antibiotics and can persist in the udder and spread from cow to cow in a contagious way.  

Transition and post-calving cows are very susceptible to these infections because their natural defences are low at this time.  Often clinical mastitis in the first 30 days of lactation can be attributed to this period of managment.

Your Independent Farm Consultants - Get in touch today

We welcome you to contact our dairy farm consultants and agricultural consultants by filling out the form below and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

I'm happy for Douglas Green Consulting Limited to let me know about news and offers that may be of interest to me in the future. Don't worry though, we promise we will never pass your details to 3rd parties.
Copyright © 2024 Douglas Green Consulting Limited  |  All Rights Reserved
Douglas Green Consulting
Silver Street Barn
Streete Farm
Compton Bassett
SN11 8RH

t: 01666 817278
e: douglas@douglasgreenconsulting.co.uk