Hamish Newton PHD
Bulk Milk Somatic Cell counts are beginning to creep up on many farms. The increase in BMSCC on some farms has coincided with an increase in the number of lame cows. Whether this is due to a common factor such as muddy tracks or partly due to the “stress” of being lame is worth considering.
Although we cannot control the weather or the state of the tracks in the short term, there are some relatively simple things that can be done to reduce the environmental challenge to the udder.
- Keep the tails trimmed
- Are the entry and exit points to the shed free of puddles?
- Are the udders clean?
- Are the under passes flooded?
- Is there enough emollient in the teat spray?
If your BMSCC is greater than 250,000 now is the time to actively manage the BMSCC so you are in position to milk as many cows for as long as possible. Once the BMSCC gets above 300,000 using once a day milking as a tool to gain BCS or reduce milking times becomes problematic as you will almost invariably grade.
- Strip the herd to find any clinical quarters that have been missed
- Check the leg bands that identify 3 titters are still on and readable.
- 8% of males are redgreen colourblind – is one or your milkers cupping the wrong quarters because they are colourblind?
- Are you liners due to be changed?
In the next month you will have pregnancy test data for most cows and in many cases three pieces of herd test data. Some High SCC cows will be empty and already on the cull list but what about the others? There is a handy tool on MINDA live called the “Best and Worst” graph. This is graph of the cows’ SCC and their PW. This allows you very easily to select the high SCC cows with a low PW and generate a list of these cows with their SCC history and predicted calving date.
For more information get in touch with your local Veterinary Centre:
Oamaru Phone: (03) 434 5666 Send Email
Waimate Phone: (03) 689 7213 Send Email
Glenavy Phone: (03) 465 1291 Send Email
Omarama Phone: (03) 438 9868 Send Email
Kurow Phone: (03) 436 0567 Send Email
Ranfurly Phone: (03) 444 1020 Send Email