Cell count checks clear cows
Mother Nature has sure been showing her power over the last few weeks. With spring (apparently) just around the corner, snow is in places it hasn’t been seen for decades.
Hopefully this hasn’t affected anyone beyond making it hard to get out of bed early in the morning.
The good thing about the colder weather is that it has dried up a lot of the mud which has reduced the likelihood of environmental mastitis.
In saying that, we have had a number of people contact us already this season with concerns about high somatic cell counts.
There is nothing more frustrating than watching those daily bulk milk somatic cell counts creeping up higher and higher without a clear indication of why they are going up.
Whether it is concerns over a single cow or concerns about the bulk counts we can help you investigate the cause.
We have an independent milking machine tester, Murray Eddington, who is a registered and qualified tester.
He has had some success already this season in getting to the bottom of a number of grading problems.
Helped by the portable DeLaval cell counter it is possible to pinpoint individual cows with high cell counts that are pushing up the bulk counts.
In a recent case he took out the DeLaval cell counter and took individual samples from 53 cows at milking.
Seven of these had somatic cell counts well over 400,000. Of these, three had clinical mastitis.
Since these cows have been pulled out of the milk supply the bulk counts have come right down and so far are showing no sign of going back up. As well as investigating the cows Mr Eddington can also do a full milking machine check to ensure this isn’t the cause of the problem.
Individual or multiple milk samples can be brought into the clinic for counts with the DeLaval machine and/or cultured here in our incubator.
Samples are best frozen overnight before bringing them in as this increases the chances of culturing Staph.aureus if it is present.
If needed we can then send these cultures to our laboratory for further bacteria typing or for sensitivities that enable us to choose the best antibiotic for that case.
If you have any doubts about whether a cow is ready to go back into the vat, running a count on that cow’s milk can help you make the right decision.
Conquering your somatic cell counts: Murray Eddington with the portable DeLaval SCC machine.