Management practices associated with low, medium, ...

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Title Management practices associated with low, medium, and high somatic cell counts in bulk milk
Author(s) H. W. Barkema, Y. H. Schukken, T. J. Lam, M. L. Beiboer, G. Benedictus, A. Brand
Journal Journal of Dairy Science
Date 1998
Volume 81
Issue 7
Start page 1917
End page 1927
Abstract Management practices associated with bulk milk somatic cell counts (SCC) were studied for 201 dairy herds grouped into three categories according to bulk milk SCC. The cumulative production of fat-corrected milk over 305 d of lactation and category for bulk milk SCC were highly correlated; herds within the low category had the highest milk production. Differences in bulk milk SCC among the categories were well explained by the management practices studied. This correlation was not only true for the difference between the high (250,000 to 400,000) and low (< or = 150,000) categories for bulk milk SCC but also for the difference between the medium (150,000 to 250,000) and low categories and the high and medium categories. Management practices that are known to be important for herds in the high category for bulk milk SCC, such as dry cow treatment, milking technique, postmilking teat disinfection, and antibiotic treatment of clinical mastitis, were also found to be important in the explanation of the difference between herds in the medium and low categories for bulk milk SCC. More attention was paid to hygiene for herds in the low category than for herds in the medium or high category. Supplementation of the diet with minerals occurred more frequently for cows in the low category for bulk milk SCC than for cows in the medium and high categories.

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