About mastitis

What is the mastitis?

Mastitis is the inflammation of the mammary gland and udder tissue and is a major endemic disease of dairy cattle. It usually occurs as an immune response to the bacterial invasion of the teat canal by the variety of bacterial sources present on the farm, and can also occur as a result of chemical, mechanical, or thermal injury to the cow’s udder.

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The main types are:

• contagious mastitis
• environmental mastitis

Contagious mastitis:

Contagious mastitis is the type of mastitis in chronic or subclinical mastitis.  It is sometimes referred to as Cow-to-Cow mastitis because it is generally spread from cow to cow. The gland is the primary habitat of bacteria causing contagious mastitis is on the udder and in teat lesions. These bacteria have poor survival in the environment when not associated with the skin or in the gland.

Causes

The major causes of contagious mastitis are Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae, and Mycoplasma spp.

Sources of Infection and Transmission Methods

There are many sources of infection of this pathogen such as: shelter and fodder materials, equipment and air, bovine skin, other animals, the hands and nose of farm workers, insects, water supplies, even Skin of the nipple.

Its importance in the dairy areas lies because:

1) Causes acute or chronic mastitis.
2) Infections respond poorly to treatments, and
3) It is easily transmitted during milking

Environmental mastitis:

Environmental mastitis is mastitis that is derived from the environment in which the cow lives. The condition can be severe and prevention aimed at keeping the cow and her environment as clean and dry as possible is paramount

Causes and sources of infection

Environmental mastitis pathogens – present in the housing and bedding – can transfer during milking or between milkings, when the cow is loafing, eating or lying down. The pathogen can enter the teat canal by force during milking, for example, when liner slippage occurs. These environmental pathogens do not generally possess the same ability as contagious pathogens to adhere to and colonize the teat; dry cow therapy has little value in their control as these kinds of infections do not carry from one lactation to the next. High levels of environmental pathogens in a herd may cause normal SCCs but higher than average Bactoscan results.

Transition and post-calving cows are very susceptible to these infections because their natural defences are low. Large infections of environmental mastitis bacteria can contaminate teats, especially if udders are wet and exposed to mud and manure, such as when animals lie down during calving.

 

 

 

 

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Calf care

One of the most important issues, because of it depends the future of the dairy farm, is the calf care. The breeding phase must receive adequate attention from the farmers although it does not constitute an immediate income, the producer must worry about genetically improving his herd, using bulls or semen of proven bulls, in such a way to replace their cows by younger ones with better potential.

Care of the calf begins before the birth. The fetus gains half of its weight in the last third of gestation of the cow, being the priority the use of the nutrients of the diet to guarantee the normal development of the calf. If the diet is deficient, the cow will use its own reserves to benefit the fetus.

Last three months: A cow’s weight gain of between 600 and 800 grams is recommended. Avoid extreme conditions, neither too fat nor too thin.
Cows should be dried: That is, stop milking, 45 to 60 days before the expected date of birth. This will allow rest of the mammary gland for the production of good quality colostrum and greater milk production in its lactation.

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When the calf is born

  • Make sure the calf is born in a clean, dry area.

The birth area is the first source of pathogens for the calf born without immunity. The maternity area, all equipment used for delivery assistance and the waiting area for newborn calves, should be kept dry, clean and disinfected. Remember that a newborn calf is too vulnerable to be able to fight an army of microbes.

  • Disinfect the navel as soon as possible.

After birth by wetting it with a 7% iodine. The umbilical cord and the entire navel area in the stomach should be fully covered with iodine solution.

  • Induce the calf to suck the colostrum.

In bottles or buckets, especially in the first 6 hours of life.

  • Colostrum supply.

Colostrum is the secretion of the mammary gland at the beginning of lactation and lasts 3 to 6 days. Early ingestion of colostrum is essential for the newborn calf.
The maternal antibodies are transferred to the calf through the colostrum. The calf should receive at least two liters of colostrum within the first 2 hours of life. The antibody content in colostrum is highest at the first milking and then decreasing. The calf should consume colostrum equivalent from 8 to 10% of its live weight, in several doses, especially in the first 12 hours of life and during the duration of the colostrum period.

  • Do not allow excess colostrum to remain for long periods of time without refrigeration.

Leftover colostrum that has not been refrigerated can have many bacteria and can be contaminated by flies if uncovered.

  • Do not mix colostrum from different cows.

If the colostrum of a cow has any pathogen, this pathogen can pass to several calves fed with the mixture, causing an epidemic.

  • Do not feed newborn calves with hospital milk.
  • Put newborn calves in individual homes up to one week after weaning.
  • Reduce Calf Stress.

A stressed calf will absorb fewer antibodies (it will have less immunity) and will have a greater risk of getting sick. The most common factors that cause calf stress are heat and/or moisture stress, excessive cold, cold air currents, wet beds, dirty environment, overpopulation, inconsistent feeding times, varying amounts of feed and many flies.

  • Use enough product for the beds.

It is very important to keep the calf dry. Each new calf should be accommodated in a new bed and straw should be added frequently to keep the bed dry. In wet beds, ammonia is released from the urine. Reducing ammonia levels is important to prevent respiratory disease.

  • Identify the calf.

With tattoos, caravans or another mechanism on the day of its birth.

  • Dehorning and removal of supernumerary nipples are activities to be undertaken within the month.

 

 

 

 

Milk : Natural sports drink

Milk is a natural sports drink. Provides the necessary amount of nutrients and promotes muscle reconstruction.

Here are three reasons for this drink to become your sporting ally:

1. Unlike commercial sports drinks that contain them artificially, milk naturally contains high amounts of carbohydrates and lactose to boost energy levels and improve physical performance.

2. It favors the recovery and growth of muscle thanks to casein and serum that when consumed together result in the elevation of amino acids in the body.

3. Whey protein enhances protein synthesis and muscle metabolism.

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Taking advantage of the metabolic window

The so-called “Metabolic Window” is the period of time post exercise that begins just after finishing the training and ends approximately two hours later. Its importance is that at this time the body is highly receptive to the uptake of nutrients, both to muscle regeneration and replenishment of glycogen stores. Their receptivity is significantly higher in this period than hours later. The benefits of this period are:

  • Recharges muscle and liver glycogen stores.
  • It recovers hydration levels.
  • It replenishes the vitamins and minerals of the wear produced by the training.
  • Optimizes recovery.
  • Promotes muscle growth.

Therefore, drinking milk after intense strength training contributes the necessary nutrients for post-training muscle regeneration and for the development of muscle mass, because of its carbohydrate and protein content of high biological value.

See you in the next post!

 

 

How to improve milking performance 3 (Design of the waiting room)

The waiting room should be a prior adaptation of the cows to milking. In this sense we must pay attention to the following aspects to improve the welfare of cows, and therefore their performance in the waiting room:

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  • Width of the entrance door: We must adapt the number of cows to avoid stress in case of grouping of the animals. The recommended measures are: if we have less than 100 cows in milking the width of the entrance door in the waiting room should not be less than 3 meters. If we have more than 100 cows the width of the door should not fall below 5 meters.
  • The available space must be a minimum of 1.5 square meters per animal.
  • Floor: the floor in the waiting room must be striped with horizontal lines to the slope, to prevent slipping.
  • Slope of the waiting room: only the one necessary to favor the drainage and cleaning. An upward slope to the milking parlor of between 2 and 4% is recommended. Greater than 6% you lose comfort.
  • Standby time: should not exceed 45 minutes per batch. Very long waiting times cause oxytocin to be released prematurely and anticipated milk drops appear. They can also cause foot problems and stress.
  • Exit corridor widths: Avoid the advancement of two cows at the same time but with enough width to facilitate a quick exit after milking. The recommended width is 80 to 90 centimeters if it is straight and 130 to 160 centimeters if you require turns. Cows tend to be frightened by not knowing what awaits them at the end of the route so that if there are turns, a greater breadth of passage should reduce stress and allow a more fluid circulation.
  • Sudden turns: avoid turns equal or greater than 90 degrees in the entry and exit corridors for linear circulation.

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How to improve milking performace 2 (The milking routine)

The purpose of the milking routine is:

  • To facilitate the descent of the alveolar milk to the cistern of the nipple.
  • Clean and disinfect the skin surface of the nipple as well as the sphincter.
  • Position the milking unit correctly and well aligned throughout the milking.
    The physiology of lowering milk in cows is the basis for the ordering of work in the milking parlor during milking.

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It is what we always have to respect if we want to have healthy, long-lived animals and therefore are economically productive. Achieving the objectives of the physiology of the cow’s udder during milking is translated into the routine of milking. The basis of a good milking routine is:

  • Time of contact, between the hands of the milker and the nipples of the cow, minimum of 20 seconds. It is the time necessary to remove the first jets of milk and then dry and / or clean the skin surface of the nipple. The contact is usually made in two phases: the first one (between 2 and 5 jets of milk) and the second of manual drying of the surface of the skin of the nipples with a cloth or paper of the previously applied disinfection product. This product needs a time of activity on the surface of the nipple of about 20-30 seconds.
  • Waiting time from the start of blunted to the milking machine placement between 60 to 90 seconds.
  • According to the type of milking machine and the number of milkers we must adjust the work and handling of the milking to the established times. Cows should enter the milking parlor quietly and routinely. They should not remain in the milking (between time in the waiting room and milking) more than two and a half hours a day. Therefore it is important to optimize the management and design of the waiting room:

How to improve milking performance 1 (Control of mamitis)

Quality milk production remains a basic point in the viability of dairy farms. The term milk quality is very broad, but the most complicated parameter is to maintain good cell quality throughout all months, objectively assessed by the cell count of the milk in the tank.

It is clearly influenced by the incidence of clinical and subclinical mammitis in farm animals.

The bases for the control of mamitis are based on six points mainly:

  • Keep cows clean, dry and comfortable.
  • Good management of the farm and in particular in the milking parlor.
  • Good operation and maintenance of the milking machine.
  • Antibiotic treatment of all animals at the time of drying.
  • Correct diagnosis and treatment of new clinical infections.
  • Isolation and progressive elimination of animals with chronic lesions in the udder.

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Of all of them we can not emphasize one of more important than the other, since all of them together are basic to be able to begin to value the health of the udder of the cows in a farm. In this article we will develop only those that influence us in the performance of milking, such as: the handling of milking and the functioning of the milking system. The handling in the milking parlor is a very important point for the quality of the milk, since it is the place where an animal, a machine and a person are related.

This interrelationship is what we call the milking routine.

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