Mastitis control We have a major problem of mastitis in our dairy farm. Can any expert guide us on how to control the mastitis. As it is a manage-mental problem. What type of bedding should we use and what are the other procedures important for mastitis control.
Re: Mastitis control Start by taking some samples of your mastitas and get your vet to analyse what bacteria are the cause.
Do you milk record? If so, then you will have cell count information for trying to identify high cell count cows. Also, look at trends of cell counts. Do certain cows cell counts rise over time? If so, then they need attention before they come a problem.
What type of housing do you have for your cows? Sand would generally be considered the best bedding material for cubicle housing (freestalls). It needs to be dry sand though.
Are your cows udders clean? How often do you clean the cow beds, cow passages?
How regularly is your parlour serviced? Could there be a problem coming from the machine? How often do you change the milking liners?
Do you pre-dip your cows before milking? What cleaning routine do you have in the parlour? Do you teat dip your cows after milking?
Re: Apart from the suggestions above I would add sprinkling lime on the bedding (on a regular basis, plus extra if you have a stall that is very damp/dirty). Our herd somatic cell count has averaged under 100,000 so far this year (based on milk pick-up records). We scrape down 4 times a day (yes, 4!) and have found this plus adding lime in the stalls has really driven down our SCC. Of course, having a proper dry-off procedure should be included (dry treating with an antibiotic, such as Cefa-Dry, and using a teat-end sealant, like Orbe-Seal). I would also add choose bulls with a low somatic cell score (nothing above breed average). Long term, it makes a difference!
Re: Mastitis control This is something we all have, don't let it get you down.
First; farms don't get mastitis, herds don't get mastitis cows do,
Second; before doing anything find your problem you will be given lots of senisble ideas but you need the ones that will do the job in your case.
Third; Errolston is right work with your vet to take samples from your next half dozen or so cases, freeze them and then send them for testing.
You can now see if your problem is from contagious or enviromental bugs, if it's the first something as simple as cluster dipping/flushing is all you need.
Next is the problem due to calving or during the lactation?
If you milk record your vet should be able to tell you from your NMR sheets (or if you are not English you can do the same I am sure)
If you don't record or only a few times a year you can still find out, get your records out and mark every case either as in the first 30 days of lactation or later.
if more than 2/3rds are in the first 30 days your promlen is at calving so concentrate there keeping the cows clean and dry and stop cross suckling by calves.
if more than 1/3rd is later concentrate on milking, dipping and housing (see the many good ideas in the first two replys)
Most of all good luck and remember what I was told years ago 'those bugs have no intelligence and they are not out to get you'
Re: Mastitis control One thing that can have a big impact is drafting out antibiotic cows and high cell count cows. Keep in a separate herd and milk after the other cows , it is important to break the cross infection cycle.