Cows with chronic mastitis problems act as a reservoir of infection for the rest of the herd, they cost you money in treatment costs and lost milk production, and they spend more time in the hospital barn requiring time-consuming care — increasing your labor, notes Dr. Rick Watters, milk quality and udder health specialist with GEA Farm Technologies.
Cows that should be considered for culling include:
- Cows with persistently high SCCs.
- Cows that do not respond favorably to treatment and continue to flare-up repeatedly with clinical mastitis.
- Cows with infections that persist in spite of dry cow treatment.
- Cows with Mycoplasma mastitis.
Of course, other factors must be considered before culling (type of infection, milk yield, replacement options, etc.) but, many times removing a few highly problematic cows will yield big dividends on your SCC report and will be well worth the loss in the long run.
Culling should never be considered a substitute for solving the underlying problem with high SCCs or increased cases of clinical mastitis on your dairy. Culling is just one component to a comprehensive mastitis control plan, reminds Watters.
Source: GEA Farm Technologies