Higher Quality Milk Comes from Cleaner Cows!

Mastitis control was the topic of the September 9th Hoard’s Dairyman webinar, presented by Pam Ruegg. Ruegg, a UW-Madison dairy science professor and milk quality specialist, discussed several topics related to mastitis and milk quality.
What is Mastitis?
Mastitis is a bacterial infection of the udder. Cow’s teats are often exposed to bacteria – mastitis occurs when the bacterial exposure exceeds the immune defense of the cow. Mastitis can be categorized as one of two types – subclinical or clinical – and is caused by either environmental factors, including bedding, moisture, mud, and manure (environmental mastitis), or by coming into contact with an infected cow (contagious mastitis).
Detecting Mastitis
In her presentation, Dr. Pam Ruegg explains that mastitis is detected based on immune response, specifically, inflammation and increased somatic cell counts. As such, we cannot detect mastitis at the moment of infection – we only see the results of the cow’s immune system fighting off the infection. 
Controlling Mastitis
The widely-adopted 5 point plan, developed in the UK in the 1950s, has helped to greatly reduce cases of mastitis.
                              5 Point Plan for Mastitis Prevention
                                  1. Effective teat dipping
                                  2. Dry cow therapy of all quarters of all cows
                                  3. Appropriate treatment of clinical cases
                                  4. Culling chronically infected cows
                                  5. Regular milking machine maintenance
Source: “New concepts in mastitis control” Hoard’s Dairyman Webinar presented by Dr. Pam Ruegg, University of Wisconsin-Madison, on September 9, 2013.
Ensuring that your cows and their surroundings are clean can play a significant role in reducing mastitis. Because bacteria thrive in manure and moist conditions, simply laying in soiled bedding or walking through manure can increase the chances of mastitis. Manure-handling equipment, such as the Patz SmartClean™ Scraper Systems, can ensure that your cows and their environments remain clean and healthy around the clock! 
Kevin Collins, right, with his Tundra™ Pro Pump.
Kevin and Lisa Collins, of Collins Dairy LLC in Greenleaf, Wisconsin, rely on Patz manure-handing equipment for their growing dairy farm. Their Patz alley scrapers work in conjunction with two 6000E Electric Drive Vertical Pit Pumps and a 2016 Tundra™ Pro Hydraulic Pump to keep their facility clean, as evidenced by a 110,000 SCC!

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