Risk factors for milk off-flavours in dairy herds ...
|Title||Risk factors for milk off-flavours in dairy herds from Prince Edward Island, Canada|
|Author(s)||A. Mounchili, J. Wichtel, I. Dohoo, G. Keefe, L. Halliday|
|Journal||Preventive veterinary medicine|
|Abstract||A sudden increase in the incidence of milk off-flavours in bulk tank milk from Prince Edward Island (Canada) dairy farms in the late 1990s prompted an investigation of potential herd-level risk factors. A prospective case-control study was conducted from 2000 to 2002. Data on herd management were obtained by questionnaire and field investigation from all the 62 identified off-flavour positive farms (cases) and 62 loosely matched (for data-collection convenience) off-flavour negative farms (controls). Forty-three of the 62 cases (69%) of milk off-flavours identified during the study period were classified as 'transmitted' (feed) off-flavours, and 9 (15%), 6 (10%), and 4 (6%) as 'rancid', 'oxidized' and 'malty' off-flavours, respectively. Given this evidence and the relatively low incidence of other flavour defects in milk, only transmitted-flavour cases were considered in the analyses of risk factors. Poor air quality in the lactating cows' barn (OR = 40.8), using baled silage as the main forage (OR = 10.6), as well as feeding roughage before milking (OR = 253.3) or as a free choice (OR = 3.2) all were significantly (P < 0.05) associated with the incidence of transmitted flavours in bulk-tank milk. Clipping the hair on the cows' udder (OR = 0.07) and changing the bedding material more than once a day (OR = 0.12) were protective. The finding about feeding baled silage before milking has raised hypotheses about silage composition (in particular the off-flavour compounds or their precursors) and also about the process of silage making itself.|
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