Heifers can develop subclinical mastitis infections before calving. Heifer mastitis threatens udder health, milk production, and milk quality, and increases the risk of premature culling.
You may have a heifer mastitis problem on your farm if >15 percent of heifers have clinical mastitis around calving or >15 percent of all heifers have a first test-day SCC >150,000 cells/mL.
Preventing heifer mastitis is based on minimizing cross-suckling in calves, using fly control, optimizing hygiene, and providing a comfortable, clean, and low-stress calving environment.
In the latest W.H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute Farm Report, Heather Dann discusses a recent Journal of Dairy Science review article that describes farm-specific interventions that should be in place on every farm.
Source: April 2012 Miner Farm Report