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Management factors affecting udder health and effects of a one year extension program in organic dairy herds

Ivemeyer, Silvia; Walkenhorst, Michael; Heil, Fritz; Notz, Christophe; Maeschli, Ariane; Butler, Gillian and Klocke, Peter (2009) Management factors affecting udder health and effects of a one year extension program in organic dairy herds. Animal, 3 (11), pp. 1594-1604.

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Summary

The first part of this study was a cross-sectional analysis of the impact of 29 management factors on udder health in organic dairy farms in Switzerland. All 77 farms joined the extension program ‘pro-Q’. As a measure of udder health the theoretical bulk milk somatic cell count (TBMSCC)calculated by the monthly cow composite somatic cell count over a time period of 1 year was chosen. The basic udder health of the farms was determined by TBMSCC during the year prior to the start of the project (mean for all farms 176,460 cells/ml). In the multivariable analysis, the five factors ‘swiss brown breed’, ‘alpine summer pasturing’, ‘calf feeding with milk from mastitis diseased cows’, ‘hard bedding’ and ‘no post-milking’ remained as significant risk factors on udder health.
In the second part of the study, the development of management factors and the udder health situation affected by an extension program after 1 year was investigated. A partial improvement of the management factors on the farms but no overall improvement on udder health and no ssociation between management changes and udder health changes were found. Improvement of udder health was more likely in farms with higher basic TBMSCC than in those farms with less udder health problems at the beginning of the project.

Summary translation

The first part of this study was a cross-sectional analysis of the impact of 29 management factors on udder health in organic dairy farms in Switzerland. All 77 farms joined the extension program ‘pro-Q’. As a measure of udder health the theoretical bulk milk somatic cell count (TBMSCC)calculated by the monthly cow composite somatic cell count over a time period of 1 year was chosen. The basic udder health of the farms was determined by TBMSCC during the year prior to the start of the project (mean for all farms 176,460 cells/ml). In the multivariable analysis, the five factors ‘swiss brown breed’, ‘alpine summer pasturing’, ‘calf feeding with milk from mastitis diseased cows’, ‘hard bedding’ and ‘no post-milking’ remained as significant risk factors on udder health.
In the second part of the study, the development of management factors and the udder health situation affected by an extension program after 1 year was investigated. A partial improvement of the management factors on the farms but no overall improvement on udder health and no ssociation between management changes and udder health changes were found. Improvement of udder health was more likely in farms with higher basic TBMSCC than in those farms with less udder health problems at the beginning of the project.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:management, udder health, mastitis, extension, dairy cow, Nachhaltigkeitsanalyse
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Animal husbandry
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal Health
DOI:10.1017/S1751731109990498
Related Links:http://www.qlif.org
Deposited By: Klocke, Dr. Peter
ID Code:16375
Deposited On:05 Oct 2009 15:41
Last Modified:22 Oct 2010 06:50
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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