Mineral nutrition may help protect udders

US - Poor udder health and mastitis can hinder the productivity of dairy herds and is one of the primary reasons that producers cull cows each year.
calendar icon 10 November 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
Mastitis can affect farmers financially, not only through the cost of mastitis treatments and veterinary services, but also through indirect costs such as discarded milk, reduced milk yield and quality, fertility problems, higher replacement costs, loss of genetic potential and extra labor requirements. Studies estimate that mastitis can cost producers an average of $180 per cow per year.

There are two types of mastitis, contagious and environmental, and to determine which kind of mastitis is in the herd, the producer must perform a bulk tank culture to find the source of bacteria. If the mastitis is in the contagious form, the producer should work with a local veterinarian to determine how it is growing. If the mastitis is in the environmental form, the producer must focus on reducing the bacteria load through management techniques, such as improving bedding and supporting the cow's natural defense system.

“In my experience, the dairy industry in the U.S. is undergoing a longevity problem, and one of the biggest reasons cows leave our herds is mastitis,” said Dr. Simon Timmermans.

Timmermans, an independent nutritionist and veterinarian from Sibley, Iowa, has worked with a number of operations to improve udder health.

Source: livestockroundup.net
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