January 24, 2019
Mastitis is a very serious issue among dairy herds. It is important to evaluate your herd's risk for mastitis as it will impact the cow's performance and ultimately the farm's bottom line.
Milking and mastitis
Milking procedures are very important for preventing and controlling contagious mastitis.
Ensure the milking environment is low stress.
The lack of udder cleanliness is one of the main factors causing clinical mastitis.
Was the udder prior to milking to prevent mastitis.
Another thing to take note is to prevent teat chapping, which allows micro-organisms to embed into skin cracks, which have the risk of mastitis infection.
Use high pressure hoses on the deck can help to aerosolize organisms in manure, and contaminated droplets can land on cows and teats open from milking. This is often overlooked of mastitis infection.
Maintain the equipment regularly, guarding against pulsator or line issues that will potentially increase the likelihood of contagious mastitis infection by impacting teat health.
Improving milk harvest efficiency can also reduce teat problems.
Decreasing herd risk factors
Cow nutrition is also another key in preventing mastitis.
Energy balance, especially during the late dry and early lactation periods is crucial in maintaining health.
Feed palatability, bunk access and cow's comfort all play a role in dry matter intake (DMI).
Have proper management procedures to ensure sufficient dry matter intake.
Dry cows and heifers are of primary importance in managing herd mastitis issues.
Dry cows have tendency to develop chronic infections, so preventing mastitis is critical for these animals.
Ensure the cows are not overcrowded and in low-stress conditions with clean and dry environment to help reduce risk of mastitis.
Accumulated manure in the walkways will increase risk of mastitis. Hence, the manure must be removed frequently and bedding must be clean and adequate.