Milk Quality

Mastitis is a universal problem that all dairy producers struggle with to varying degrees. Dairy farm management practices that have shown to best improve udder health are: wearing gloves during milking, using automatic take-offs, using post milking teat dipping, milking problem cows last, yearly inspection of the milking system, and keep cows standing after milking.

Other practises associated with lower SCC were the use of a free stall system, sand bedding, cleaning the calving pen after each calving, surveillance of dry-cow udders for mastitis, use of blanket dry-cow therapy, parenteral selenium supplementation, udder hair management, and frequent use of the California Mastitis Test. Read more about the effect of udder health management practices here.

On this page we have gathered links to articles and tools to improve milk quality and udder health on farm.

biosecurity

Develop strategies and standards to prevent introducing intramammary infections into a herd

Published: 6/18/2012 Written by: Milkproduction.com staff

To prevent introducing mastitis pathogens into a herd when purchasing cows, a balance has to be struck between minimizing the probability of purchasing an infected cow and maintaining sufficient choice in the population from which to select replacements. This is also influenced by the farm attitude to risk – what degree of risk is acceptable for purchasing an infected cow.

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Milk quality

Proper milking techniques

Published: 6/12/2012

Proper management of cows during and between each milking is required for maximum milk production and mastitis prevention. The economic loss from mastitis makes it the dairy industry’s most important disease. The technologies to control and eradicate mastitis have been available for many years, yet bacteria still take thousands of cows out of production every year.

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Milking equipment

The role of milking equipment in mastitis

Published: 9/29/2011 Written by: G.M. Jones

The goal for any dairy farm should be to deliver a high quality product that has consumer appeal. The objective of any herd's milk management program should include: (1) maximise yield secreted by the mammary gland, (b) milk out cows in a short peroid of time, (c) prevent damage to teats, teat ends, and the udder, and (d) have no adverse effect on chemical composition of milk. It must be recognized that factors other than milking equipment, such as milking practices, can influence milking performance and quality.

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Milking

How machine milking influences mastitis

Published: 9/23/2011 Written by:

Machine milking, along with its various associated practices such as udder or teat washing, has significant effects on the etiology, incidence, and progress of mastitis. These effects may operate directly by increasing the new infection rate, or indirectly by increasing exposure to bacteria or reducing disease resistance.

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Milking

Milking tips from the NMC

Published: 9/30/2011 Written by: Milkproduction.com staff

Attitude makes a difference. Proper milking procedures and a positive attitude are required to minimize mastitis and maximize quality production from a milking herd. Milking should be done by responsible and conscientious persons. Good management dictates that the person milking must be constantly alert to conditions that may spread mastitis organisms from cow to cow. Correcting such conditions assists the production of high quality milk from healthier udders.

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Management

Do you know how much mastitis is costing you?

Published: 5/20/2011 Written by: Monica Wadsworth

Do you know how much mastitis is costing every year? Jeffrey Bewley, University of Kentucky extension dairy specialist, has developed a tool to help you calculate the economic impact of mastitis due to lost milk production. Individual farm data can be entered to calculate losses, and a dashboard shows you what’s happening in your herd.

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Mastitis

Current status and future challenges in mastitis research

Published: 10/10/2011

Worldwide, mastitis is one of the most important diseases in dairy cattle. It is important of the high incidence of the disease and its associated production losses. Moreover, mastitis affects milk quality and has, therefore, consequences beyond the dairy farm.

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Udder health

Teat condition in dairy cows

Published: 7/3/2012 Written by: Francesca Neijenhuis

The dairy cow's teat is the first line of defence against mastitis pathogens. The milking process may affect the teat's condition, increasing the risk of mastitis. It is well-proven that teat-ends with severe erosions or broken skin will have an increased risk of mastitis. However, more common changes in teat condition because of milking have not been related to udder health problems.

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Milking equipment

What's the risk with old liners?

Published: 6/22/2012

The liner is the only component of the milking machine that comes into direct contact with the cow's teat. Therefore, it is one of the key components in the process of milking cows quickly, gently and completely. Although many people try to squeeze a few more weeks or months from the liners in a dairy, this is almost always a poor option for the most important component of the milking machine.

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Biosecurity

Biosecurity principles as applied to udder health

Published: 6/18/2012 Written by: Milkproduction.com staff

There are many reasons to buy cows. It’s necessary to purchase cows as part of herd expansions and sometimes herd removal policies dictate that new animals must be brought into the dairy herd to maintain cow numbers but as you buy remember the saying, Caveat emptor, or “buyer beware.” People don’t sell their best cows, herds don’t disperse because of success, and cows like routine. The stress of moving and new environments make new arrivals to your herd more likely to shed disease organisms and become sick. You need to protect your investment in cows, your farm enterprise, and importantly, maintain your herd’s udder health by developing a sound biosecurity program for your farm.

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Udder health

Addressing teat condition problems

Published: 9/27/2011 Written by: Teat Club International

This paper descibes effective treatments, changes in management or changes in machine settings that appear to provide successful solutions for particular teat condition problems in commercial herds. It also indicates the expected time scale - after the start of a successful treatment or management change - until improvements in teat condition should become evident.

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Effect of udder health management practices on herd somatic cell count

Published: 10/8/2011 Written by: Monica Wadsworth

The farm management practices that most consistently have demonstrated to improve udder health and lower the somatic cell count are: wearing gloves during milking, using automatic take-offs, using post milking teat dipping, milking problem cows last, yearly inspection of the milking system, and use of a technique to keep cows standing following milking.

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Milking

NMC's Recommended milking procedures

Published: 9/29/2011 Written by: Milkproduction.com staff

Proper milking procedures, a positive attitude, and a clean environment are required to minimize mastitis and maximize the production of quality milk from a herd. Milking should be done by people who are responsible, trained, and conscientious.

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Udder health

Relationship between teat-end callosity or hyperkeratosis and mastitis

Published: 3/26/2003 Written by: Teat Club International

Evaluation of teat-end callosity in commercial herds may help to identify or resolve problems related to milking management, environment or the milking machine. A small amount of teat-end callosity does not appear to increase the risk of intra-mammary infection in the lactating dairy cow

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Management

Milk quality self assessment test

Published: 4/22/2011 Written by:

Assess your operation's milk quality practices with this quiz from University of Minnesota Extension

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Author

Monica Wadsworth

Monica Wadsworth
85 articles

Writer at Milkproduction.com

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Milkproduction.com

Milkproduction.com

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