Impact of nutrition and feeding management on risk of mastitis in dairy heifers

40 min read

Mastitis risk in dairy cows and heifers is multifactorial and changes with time and interaction with causal factors. This complexity can make it hard to troubleshoot and help farms maintain a low level of mastitis. As a consultant it is difficult to be aware of daily changes and duration of those changes occurring on client dairies. Changes to nutrition is only one of many factors that may affect risk of mastitis in animals on individual dairy farms. Risk factors for mastitis in lactating, dry cow, and heifers are likely the same. However, because dairy heifers are often managed differently for the growing period, level of mastitis risk and time of exposure to that risk may be different than that of mature cows on the same farm. This paper explores opportunities for lowering risk of mastitis in heifers and as it relates to nutrition and feeding programs.

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