Tests spot low scores
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