Cows get “mooo-dy” without “udder” Compliance. If you want to maintain high-quality milk production, you should focus on cleanliness-Clean cows equal pure milk. Keeping the dairy barns clean is especially necessary for the modern units where cows stand close together. The main focus is on increased production.
Why Is a Clean Dairy Stall Important?
A clean stall in a dairy barn means reduced bacteria that can get to the livestock and cause diseases. Do you know how susceptible cows are to germs? One mistake can lead to fatality of the animal and, by extension, people like you who consume the milk they offer.
Here are two examples of diseases affecting dirty cows:
A bacterial infection causes mastitis, which is an inflamed quarter (or quarters) of the udder. The disease may not be observed during the milking process but may show up as clots in the milk. The effects of mastitis include increased production costs and less valuable milk.
Coccidiosis is a parasite that sheds in the fecal matter of the affected animal showing symptoms. The parasites enter the cow’s digestive system through any contaminated food, water, or pasture. Once the parasite gets into this warm moist environment, it causes internal damages.
Cleanliness is measured in dairy stalls because it affects cows’ products- milk and meat. When dirt is on the cow’s lower leg, the possibility of the cow becoming lame (due to hidden damages) or having mastitis increases. Dirt on the hindquarters of the cow may be a result of a human or environmental error.
The pig does not like being clean, but cows are not like that. Cows prefer to relax in dry and clean areas. If you raise them in an untidy environment, you can irritate their skins and lead to more diseases. The cow teats and udders are prime “clean me” areas as contamination results in low-quality milk.
How Do Dirty Cow Udders Affect Milk Quality?
To get a clear understanding of milk quality, you should know the basic principles of bacterial growth and sanitizing dairy equipment. Bacteria need food, warmth, moisture, and time to grow. These conditions are many times found on the cow’s udders.
One common way to measure milk quality is to test for the total plate count (TPC). The TPC calculates the bacterial content in the milk. In the calculation, you observe a milk sample to see how many bacterial colonies grow in it after a few days.
The more bacteria present in the milk after the study, the greater the contamination level and the less a farmer gets paid. Therefore, the milk is deemed “of poor quality.” In addition, when the udder has bacterial growth, this affects milk quality.
A highly perishable product such as milk requires you to limit any instances of contamination of the product. A dirty udder in a dairy farm is not only possible but many times unavoidable. There are some procedures you can follow to prepare the udders before milking.
- Wash the cows using a clean washrag each time
- The udders should be washed and disinfected (you can use sodium hypochlorite)
- After washing the udder, dry it so as not to contaminate the teat cup
- Physically remove and dirt from the cow udder to facilitate the milking process
How Is Udder Health and Longevity Related?
First off, you should understand that longevity is the life expectancy for your productive cow. You can have a cow for many years, but that cow no longer produces milk after a certain period. It is for this reason that you pay attention to longevity.
The correlation between udder health and the length of time your cow keeps giving milk is cleanliness. While there are many reasons for lowered milk production, udder health stands out. The heartiness of a cow’s udder is dependent on how clean you keep it.
If you keep the dairy stalls clean, the cow udders remain clean and cannot affect the somatic cell count. The SCC or somatic cell count indicates the milk quality. Studying the SCC gives you an idea of whether any harmful bacteria are present in the milk.
Cows thrive in a clean environment. Clean surroundings are healthier for them as it protects them from diseases and bacterial infections. The cleaner the cows’ stall, the higher the chance of them producing high-quality milk.