September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
What was your 2013 average SCC? According to my creamery, in 2013 the herd averaged 72,000; in 2012 the average was 80,000; and in 2011 the average was 74,000.
What type barn do you have and what kind of bedding do you use? I milk in a tie stall barn with sawdust bedding.
What are some of the preventive measures you take to keep your SCC low? Weather permitting, the cows are let out outside everyday in order to clean stalls, which are rebedded with fresh sawdust. In addition to this, I am always looking to clean dirty stalls several times a day.
If a cow comes down with mastitis, how do you treat her? If treatment is needed I use Spectramast or Today, usually two times. If it's a severe case, I call my vet.
What does your milking procedure consist of? I thoroughly wash and stimulate each teat and then strip it out. When that is done, I spray with a chlorhex dip.
Have you ever had times when your SCC got higher then you like? Yes. The first chance to catch them for me is usually during milking prep. If I can't find them that way, I will use a CMT on suspect cows. When the problem cow is found she is immediately treated. If she doesn't respond, a second treatment is given. If she flares up again she is sold in most cases.
What type of analysis do you use to monitor milk quality? I receive milk quality reports online from my creamery every other day. I also use individual reports from DHIA.
How often do you check your milking equipment? Every four weeks a B&R Dairy route person inspects my system.
What does your milking equipment cleaning process consist of? Units and hoses are washed externally before going thru the rinsing, washing and sanitizing cycles.
Where do you raise your heifers and what type of bedding do you use? Heifers are raised at home, first in hutches with wheat straw, then group housed on corn stalks until they reach 800 pounds. After that, they are raised and bred at my brother's place until shortly before calving.
Why is it important for you to have a low somatic cell count? A low count improves cheese production and shelf life. Plus it's a good indicator of overall herd health. Any premiums received from the creamery also helps my bottom line.
What are the three biggest factors you attribute your low somatic cell count to? The three biggest factors are keeping the cows clean and comfortable, keeping a consistent milking schedule and routine, and having a quality feeding program.[[In-content Ad]]
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