Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have put some numbers on the risk of culling due to somatic cell counts. Their findings reveal two interesting trends:

  • In low-SCC herds, Holstein cows with an average SCC greater than 700,000 cells per milliliter were 3.4 times more likely to be culled than cows with a SCC between 200,000 and 250,000.
  • In contrast, in high-SCC herds, Holstein cows with an average SCC greater than 700,000 were 2.3 times more likely to be culled than cows with a SCC between 200,000 and 250,000.

The researchers reported similar findings for Jersey cows. The results, found in the February Journal of Dairy Science, suggest that more stringent culling of high-SCC cows takes place in herds with a lower average SCC than in herds with a higher SCC.