Environmental and managerial determinants of somatic cell counts and clinical mastitis incidence in Ohio dairy herds

Paul C. Bartlett, Gay Y. Miller, Susan E. Lance, Lawrence E. Heider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A stratified-random sample of 48 Ohio dairy herds participated in a 1-year disease monitoring survey to study herd management and environmental conditions affecting udder infection and clinical mastitis incidence. The mean monthly bulk-tank somatic cell count was used as an indicator of overall udder infection. Clinical incidence was determined by monthly on-farm interviews with the dairy producers. Management and environmental conditions were assessed by direct observation as well as by personal interview of dairy managers. The final multivariable analysis-of-variance model of log bulk-tank somatic cell count had an R2 value of 0.43. Lower log bulk-tank somatic cell count was found in herds with hired milkers, a clean and dry cow exercise area, clean teats following milking and fewer milking cows. The number of months spent on pasture was also significant. The final model for clinical mastitis incidence had an R2 value of 0.38. Less clinical mastitis was found on farms where straw bedding was used, pre-dip was not used, where there were fewer cows, fewer person-hours per cow were spent milking cows, a greater percentage of calvings occurred in the designated calving facility, and cows spent fewer months per year on pasture. Other potentially important disease determinants could not be included in the final models because of limited sample size relative to the model degrees of freedom (six each).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-207
Number of pages13
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Volume14
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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