Longitudinal study of herd udder hygiene and its association with clinical mastitis in pasture-based dairy cows

Rowe, Sam, Tranter, William, and Laven, Richard (2021) Longitudinal study of herd udder hygiene and its association with clinical mastitis in pasture-based dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 104 (5). pp. 6051-6060.

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The objectives of this exploratory study were to (1) describe the association between herd-level udder hygiene and clinical mastitis and (2) investigate how sample size and milking stage affect the accuracy and precision of herd udder hygiene assessments made at milking time. A prospective longitudinal study was conducted in a dairy herd in Northern Australia as part of a previously published clinical trial of premilking teat disinfection. Video footage from 35 afternoon milkings was used to conduct 12,544 udder hygiene scores from 504 cows during an 89-d period and measure udder hygiene of the herd (proportion of cows with udder hygiene ≥3 out of 4). Linear interpolation was used to estimate herd udder hygiene on the days that were not scored, such that a herd-level udder hygiene measure was available for all cow-days in the study. Clinical mastitis events occurring during the study period were detected and recorded by farm staff according to a standardized definition. The relationship between herd udder hygiene on each of 1, 2, and 3 d before each study day (d −1, −2, and −3, respectively) and clinical mastitis at the cow level on each study day (each in turn being set as d 0) was determined using multivariable generalized estimating equations (family = Poisson, link = log), with the unit of analysis being the cow-day, adjusting for potential confounders and the clustering within the data. In addition, sampling strategies were evaluated by simulating herd udder hygiene assessments using a subset of cows in the herd. Herd udder hygiene from d −1, −2, and −3 was positively associated with clinical mastitis on d 0 (incidence rate ratio = 1.4 per 10-point increase in the percentage of cows with poor udder hygiene). Sampling strategy simulation found that at least 80 cows needed to be scored to achieve sufficiently precise estimations of herd udder hygiene. Furthermore, cows scored later during milking were slightly more likely to have poor udder hygiene than those scored earlier (risk ratio = 1.02 for cows that were 10% later in the milking order). More research is needed to evaluate risk factors for poor udder hygiene and potential interventions in pasture-based dairy cows.

Item ID: 70442
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1525-3198
Keywords: environment, mastitis, pasture-based, udder hygiene
Copyright Information: © 2021 American Dairy Science Association®. Published by Elsevier Inc. and Fass Inc. All rights reserved
Date Deposited: 04 May 2022 03:23
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