Reducing somatic cell count in dairy cows: abrupt versus gradual drying off

A study of the effects of abrupt and gradual drying off on somatic cell counts during the next lactation in Holstein dairy cows on a North Yorkshire farm.

Year of Publication2011

Mastitis is costly to the dairy industry. High somatic cell counts are good indicators of subclinical mastitis. Results from this study suggested that abrupt drying off (from twice-a-day milking) was a better method than gradual (once-a-day milking) because cows entered the dry period with lower somatic cell counts. This could assist in the control of subclinical mastitis.

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Additional keywords/tags

cow healthdairy cow management
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