Minimise mastitis and reduce involuntary culling

Mastitis is ranked no.2 after infertility as a main reason for culling cows. Each case of clinical mastitis can cost up to EUR 630. But perhaps more important is that each undetected subclinical case may cost up to EUR 240 in milk losses.

A turnover of cows on a dairy farm is to be expected, as farmers remove cows because of low milk production or sell them. However, much of the low longevity of dairy cows results from involuntary culling because of poor health or fertility problems. High rates of involuntary culling on a farm are a sign of poor animal welfare and are very costly to dairy producers. Although proportions might differ, the main causes of involuntary culling are the same in different parts of the world : reproduction problems, mastitis and lameness. A reduction of these causes of low longevity leads to improved animal welfare and farm profitability.

Find tips on mastitis detection, treatment and prevention here


Proactive mastitis management
by Eric Hillerton 

The recommended 5 point plan has historically helped to keep mastitis under control. The plan is based on the following practices; disinfecting teats after milking, treating mastitis cases promptly, dry cow treatment of all cows, culling chronic cows and keeping the milking system in good condition. Of these, post-milking teat disinfection is probably the most cost efficient measure to prevent mastitis. The biggest challenge in mastitis management right now is the need for a careful use of antibiotics. Read more

Heifer mastitis: prevention is the key!
by Amber Yutzy 

The ultimate goal for any heifer management program is to develop a healthy adult cow that produces high quality milk. This success depends on how heifers are managed from birth to first calving. Mastitis is considered one of the most significant and costly diseases in dairy cows and results in decreased production and profitability. Read more (to

Acidic bedding conditioner may lower risk of mastitis
by Peter Krawczel

Mastitis continues to be one of the most problematic diseases for dairy cows and producers. Not only does it cost the dairy industry more than a billion dollars annually, the lowered somatic cell count limits for exporting milk to the European Union put additional pressure on producers to keep SCC below 400,000 per mL to avoid potentially losing their ability to ship milk. A cow’s housing environment is the primary source of mastitis caused by Environmental strep., E. coli, Klebsiella, which may be significantly affected by proper bedding management. Read more

The importance of improving cow longevity
by Jeffrey Rushen 

High rates of involuntary culling on a dairy farm because of illness or reproductive problems occur because of poor cow welfare and reduce the profitability of dairy farms. Removing the main causes of involuntary culling will lead to improved animal welfare and improved farm profits. Read more


Mastitis and milk management

Mastitis in dairy cattle can result in potential losses in milk production, milk income, and milk quality bonuses. Understanding the many aspects of dairy cattle mastitis can lead to more effective prevention and treatment strategies. Read more

Reduce the need for antibiotics by monitoring cell count
by Charlotte Hallen-Sandgren

Resistance to antibiotics is a significant problem in society today and it is important to find ways of reducing usage without  jeopardizing the health of  cows and humans. In dairy, one solution is not to increase the level of treatment but rather reduce the need for antibiotics by closely monitoring cell count. Read more


Cows can suffer from milk fever even though you don’t see it
By Phil Durst

Fresh cows in your herd may be suffering from something you don’t see. What is it and how can you prevent it? “My cows aren’t taking off after calving,” said a recent caller to my Michigan State University Extension office. Maybe your dairy farm has experienced the same problem and you are wondering how to your herd get off to a better start after calving. What if there is something holding them back that you don’t see? Maybe there is. Read more 

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