Animal Science

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Developing a Milk Quality Program for a Dairy Herd

2016-04-27 , Portner, Sabrina , Animal Science

A successful dairy farm develops individualized mastitis prevention and treatment programs using the milk quality profile of their herd. Port-Haven Dairy’s 230 Brown Swiss milking cow herd’s monthly DHIA somatic cell count data was used to select cows requiring milk sampling. Each quarter of selected cows and cows with clinical mastitis were sampled following a CMT paddle test. Milk samples were cultured and organisms that grew were identified visually and with subsequent tests. A composite sample was also cultured from each fresh cow to test for mycoplasma organisms. Eight positive staphylococcus aureus cows and zero positive mycoplasma cows were found. Two trials of sampling determined that the prevalent mastitis organisms in the herd included environmental streptococcus and skin staphylococcus. Using antibiotic sensitivity results, a treatment program was established for the Staphylococcus aureus cows using Pirsue. The predominant environmental organisms lead to the examination of milking procedures, the barn environment, and teat end callouses. These results directed the formation of immediate herd goals including eliminating mycoplasma threats and keeping the bulk tank somatic cell count below 300,000. Increasing the square footage per cow in each barn to decrease environmental organisms and somatic cell count stands as a long term goal.