Management after discontinuation of the milk quota

At the latest since the milk quota phase-out, every farmer is anxious to achieve the best possible performance with his herd. Precondition for this is a healthy herd of cows healthy herd of cows.

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Apart from hoof problems, udder diseases are today the prime cause of death. Every third cow contracts mastitis at least once during the lactation period. The consequence: a reduced milk output. Studies show that if the number of cells per millilitre of milk has increased to 250.000, a milk loss of approximately seven percent can be expected. For a farm with 150 cows and a herd average of 9,000 kilogram of milk per cow and year, this would result in around 28,350 Euro less income. An average cell count per herd of 150,000 should therefore never be exceeded.

Negative factors create financial loss

The factors – among other stress, poor animal accommodation, unfavourable climatic conditions, metabolic diseases, poor udder care – are varied and very different in the intensity of their effect on udder health. If several negative factors occur simultaneously, they provoke an udder dysfunction, and thus also a financial loss.

Mastitis may be caused by pathogens associated with the environment or by pathogens associated with the cow. Determining the pathogens by means of quarter milk samples is an important requirement for reducing the number of cells in the milk. A veterinarian should be consulted for this. If environmental pathogens are the trigger, environmental hygiene and udder hygiene must be optimised. Environmental hygiene includes among others clean and dry lying surfaces. In lying cubicles, this can be very easily achieved by spreading litter limes such as Desintec Desintec FloorCal pH 12. This agent is characterised by a high pH-value of 12 that ensures fast drying of the paths and litter in the lying bays.

Desintec agent for environmental hygiene

Ideally, in high cubicles an amount of 150 grams of hygiene lime per square meter is spread and afterwards covered with a top layer of straw. For the hygienisation of deep cubicles, a special earth-moist product was developed. This earth-moist version of Desintec FloorCal ph 12 is available in loose form and can be easily mixed with straw or saw dust in the fodder mixing vehicle with a ratio of 1:2 or 1:3. To prevent the formation of dust, some water should be added to the fodder mixing vehicle. Such alkalising top layers provide a high hygiene effect to prevent undesirable pathogens in the cubicles and ensure a good acceptance of the lying cubicles. Desintec FloorCal pH 12 is characterised by a very finely ground structure, which virtually rules out any ankle joint injuries and subsidence in the liquid manure.

Two-component agent for difficult conditions

After milking, the teat channel of cows is keenly widened for around 45 to 60 minutes, thus offering pathogens the possibility to enter the udder and cause mastitis. Post-dipping with a dipping agent that quickly and reliably kills germs on the teat skin and at the same time nurtures the skin, such as Desintec MH LactiFilm, is therefore recommended. Under very difficult conditions or for the disinfection of cow-associated pathogens, it is recommended to use a chlorine dioxide-based two-component agent – for example Desintec MH Double Sprint. An important measure to reduce cow-associated pathogens is the additional interim disinfection of milking equipment with peracetic acid.

At a glance
Sample calculation loss of income from milk due to udder disease:

  • Cow farm with 150 cows
  • Average milk output : 9.000 kilogram milk per cow and year
  • Annual farm output sample farm: 1,350,000 kilogram
  • Milk payout price: 30 cent

Loss of income from milk in case of 250,000 cells:

  • 250,000 cells per millilitre of milk means around seven percent loss in milk volume
  • Milk loss = approx. 94,500 kilogram milk per year = around 28,350 Euro loss of income from milk per year

Further information on this topic can be obtained from your production consultant or from Dieter Jürgens, and Christoph Pohlkemper, or at the toll-free hotline, Tel. 0251 . 682-1144.

Use biocides carefully. Always read labelling and product information before use.