The effect of an automated dipping and backflushing system on somatic cell counts

The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effect of introducing an automated teat dipping and backflushing (ADB) system in a herd on (a) bulk milk somatic cell count (SCC), (b) individual cow SCC, and (c) the proportion of newly elevated SCC. Dairy herd improvement data were collected over a 30-month period on 25 sets of 3 farms. Each set of 3 farms contained a farm that installed an ADB system, one that disinfected teats using dipping after milking, and one that sprayed teats after milking. Bulk milk SCC on farms that sprayed or dipped before installing an ADB system were 16,000 and 30,000 cells/mL lower in the period 6 to 18 months after installation, respectively, than on farms that continued spraying or dipping the teats after milking. In the same period after installing an ADB system, proportions of cows with elevated SCC were 4.3% and 1.2% lower, respectively, compared with spraying and with dipping. Similarly, proportions of cows that had newly elevated SCC were 1.5% lower and 0.3% higher, respectively, compared with farms that sprayed or dipped. Installing an ADB system had a beneficial effect on bulk milk SCC, individual cow SCC, and the proportion of cows with newly elevated SCC. The effect was most marked in the period 6 to 18 months after installation of an ADB system.

Source: Olde Riekerink et al. – Journal of Dairy Science, 95, 4931-4938, 2012

Complete abstract: www.m²-magazine/org > 032-25.02.2013