Cell count checks clear cows

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

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.

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