Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Dairy cow cleanliness and milk quality on organic and conventional farms in the UK

  • Kathryn A Ellis (a1), Giles T Innocent (a1), Monika Mihm (a2), Peter Cripps (a3), W Graham McLean (a4), C Vyvyan Howard (a5) and Dai Grove-White (a3)...
Abstract

A subjective cow cleanliness scoring system was validated and used to assess the cleanliness score of dairy cows at different times in the year. A longitudinal study followed a number of farms from summer to winter, and a larger, cross-sectional study assessed a greater number of farms during the housed winter period. The scoring system was demonstrated to be both a repeatable and practical technique to use on-farm and showed that cows become dirtier in the transition from summer grazing to winter housing. Although farming system (organic or conventional) had no effect on cow cleanliness when cows were at grass, when housed in the winter, organic cows were significantly more likely to be cleaner. There was a link between cow cleanliness scores and milk quality, with herds having lower bulk tank somatic cell counts (BTSCC) tending to have a lower (cleaner) median cow cleanliness score; with this relationship strongest for the organic herds. There was no significant link between cleanliness score and Bactoscan (BS) count or clinical mastitis incidence. No major mastitis pathogens were cultured from bulk tank milk samples from the quartile of herds with the cleanest cows in contrast to the quartile of herds with the dirtiest cows, where significant mastitis pathogens were cultured. Based on this study, all farms, especially organic systems, should attempt to keep cows clean as part of subclinical mastitis control.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*For correspondence; e-mail: k.ellis@vet.gla.ac.uk
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

RP Dinsmore , PB English , RN Gonzalez & PM Sears 1992 Use of augmented cultural techniques in the diagnosis of the bacterial cause of clinical bovine mastitis. Journal of Dairy Science 75 27062712

MJ Green , LE Green , GF Medley , YH Schukken & AJ Bradley 2002 Influence of dry period bacterial intramammary infection on clinical mastitis in dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science 85 25892599

D Grove-White 2004 Rumen healthcare in the dairy cow. In Practice 26 8895

J Hughes 2001 A system for assessing cow cleanliness. In Practice 23 517524

JN Huxley , J Burke , S Roderick , DCJ Main & HR Whay 2004 Animal welfare assessment benchmarking as a tool for health and welfare planning in organic dairy herds. Veterinary Record 155 237239

DCJ Main , HR Whay , LE Green & AJF Webster 2003 Effect of the RSPCA Freedom Food scheme on the welfare of dairy cattle. Veterinary Record 153 227231

JK Reneau , AJ Seykora , BJ Heins , MI Emdres , RJ Farnsworth & RF Bey 2005 Association between hygiene scores and somatic cell scores in dairy cattle. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 227 12971301

M Sanaa , B Poutrel , JL Menard & F Serieys 1993 Risk factors associated with contamination of raw milk by Listeria monocytogenes in dairy farms. Journal of Dairy Science 76 28912898

A Sanchez , A Contreras , J Jimenez , C Luengo , JC Corrales & C Fernandez 2003 Effect of freezing goat milk samples on recovery of intramammary bacterial pathogens. Veterinary Microbiology 94 7177

DA Schreiner & PL Ruegg 2002 Effects of tail docking on milk quality and cow cleanliness. Journal of Dairy Science 85 25032511

DA Schreiner & PL Ruegg 2003 Relationship between udder and leg hygiene scores and subclinical mastitis. Journal of Dairy Science 86 34603465

YH Schukken , JAH Smit , FJ Grommers , D Vandegeer & A Brand 1989 Effect of freezing on bacteriologic culturing of mastitis milk samples. Journal of Dairy Science 72 19001906

E von Borell & JT Sørensen 2004 Organic livestock production in Europe: aims, rules and trends with special emphasis on animal health and welfare. Livestock Production Science 90 39

WR Ward , JW Hughes , WB Faull , PJ Cripps , JP Sutherland & JE Sutherst 2002 Observational study of temperature, moisture, pH and bacteria in straw bedding, and faecal consistency, cleanliness and mastitis in cows in four dairy herds. Veterinary Record 151 199206

HR Whay , DCJ Main , LE Green & AJF Webster 2003 Assessment of the welfare of dairy cattle using animal-based measurements: direct observations and investigation of farm records. Veterinary Record 153 197202

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Dairy Research
  • ISSN: 0022-0299
  • EISSN: 1469-7629
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-dairy-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords: