Somatic cell counts in milk of dairy cows under practical conditions

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Knowledge related to udder health in dairy practice is considerably limited. The aim of the experiment was to study the changes of somatic cell counts (SCC) in milk in relation to the month of year, stage of lactation and parity under the practical conditions. Also the frequency of incidence of high SCC during the year was observed. The effectiveness of dry therapy and calving process on SCC was evaluated as well. The experiment lasted from January 2011 till January 2012 involving 146 dairy cows. From each milked cow two milk samples per month were collected to measure SCC during experimental observation. In total 2306 samples were collected during the experimental period. The SCC significantly increased with advanced numbers of lactation. The months of the year (season) significantly influenced the SCC in dairy cows. There was a significant increase of SCC during the period from May till July as compared with winter months of the year. The lowest value of SCC was measured at second month and the highest at tenth month of lactation. Also the first month of lactation was characterized by higher SCC as compared with second one. In conclusion, the high percentage of cows had SCC over 4.105 ml-1 and considerable effect of season indicate insufficient preventive mastitis control programme in dairy farm and therefore the high risk for milk quality on farm.

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