Good udder health in first parity cows - a way to good economy in the dairy farm
Mastitis (udder inflammation) is the most costly disease among dairy cows. Swedish studies show that first paritycows often have udder infections and mastitis at calving, which may have considerable negative effects on their milkproduction and longevity, but that the prevalence varies among farms. The long-term aim is therefore to increase milkproduction, and improve milk quality and longevity of first parity cows by preventing udder health problems before andat calving. Specific aims are to identify 1) prevalence of different milk somatic cell count patterns in newly calvedheifers in Swedish dairy farms, 2) management and housing factors before and at calving that reduce the risk for poorudder health in newly calved heifers, 3) associations between bacterial prevalence on udder skin during differentperiods of heifer rearing and udder infections at calving, and 4) practical advice that will promote good udder health innewly calved heifers and spread these to interested parties.