Tests spot low scores

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

As we head into au­tumn there are a num­ber of de­ci­sions that need to be made. Av­er­age cow body con­di­tion score is lower than usual as a re­sult of poor pas­ture growth rates in re­cent months.

With­out per­form­ing a score on the whole herd it is dif­fi­cult to as­sess where you are at. Mata­mata Ve­teri­nary Ser­vices cur­rently of­fers a ‘‘whole herd score’’ ser­vice. How­ever, most farm­ers will know the cows that re­quire ex­tra at­ten­tion.

There are a few man­age­ment op­tions to be con­sid­ered with these cows, fo­cus­ing on ei­ther in­creas­ing the of­fered dry mat­ter in­take or re­duc­ing their milk­ing fre­quency. For ex­am­ple 16 hourly or oncea-day milk­ing. In some cases a com­bi­na­tion of both may be re­quired.

Un­for­tu­nately for farm­ers where their bulk milk tank so­matic cell count is high, a re­duc­tion in milk­ing fre­quency can push the cell count up, in­creas­ing the chance of a qual­ity grade.

If you are see­ing an in­crease in your count (in ex­cess of 300,000), ei­ther a herd test or a rapid mas­ti­tis test will help find the prob­lem cows caus­ing an in­crease in your count.

Ser­vices can as­sist you with a herd test. A ben­e­fit of ser­vices per­form­ing the test al­lows milk sam­ples taken from cows with a pos­i­tive test to be an­a­lysed im­me­di­ately with a Delaval so­matic cell count ma­chine. Bac­te­rial cul­tures can then be plated up to iden­tify the type of in­fec­tion and sub­se­quently the cor­rect an­tibi­otic to ad­min­is­ter.

A fur­ther ben­e­fit of a ‘‘cow side’’ cell count is the time taken to gen­er­ate the re­sult

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