Mastitis in Dairy Farming
What is Mastitis?
Mastitis is a common problem in diary cows, TAITTA asked about it on WeFarm: What are the clinical signs of mastitis?
Kapkama responded to say that the signs were: Reduced milk production, blood stains, rise in body temperature , with the teats being swollen and hot with pain.
Mastitis is the inflammation of the mammary glands of a lactating mammal caused by bacteria. The bacteria enter the udder via the teats openings as the animal lays down on infested ground. In the dairy industry mastitis is a disease of economic importance; it is the difference between a booming dairy farm and a failing one. The infection can be either clinical or subclinical. Clinical mastitis is the ones that most farmers get to see as it is shown by abnormalities in the udder and milk while subclinical mastitis is very hard to detect as the milk and udder appears normal. Subclinical mastitis is more common than clinical. Clinical is also infectious Surprisingly enough, there is a simple way of detecting subclinical mastitis and treat it before it goes off hand. The test involves feeling the texture of a container that contained milk during the milking process. The confirmatory test is a slimy feel of the walls that were in contact with the milk.
Treatment of subclinical mastitis is also cheap and chemical free. As a farmer one can use clay. Pure clay has the ability to absorb the bacteria from the teats. You apply it on the teats in its pure form or mix it with olive oil. The combination of the healing power of olive oil and the absorbance of clay will ensure that your herd stay mastitis free.
Most farmers also tend to milk when the calf is near with the idea that it will stimulate milk let down which is not the case. It is advisable that farmers reduce cow-calf contact as it affects milk let down where the cow retains some for its young one hence increasing cases of mastitis. Fast milking is also recommended. The most obvious thing that you should observe is hygiene of the milker. You should wash your hands with either jik, dettol or mastrix solutions before milking each cow to avoid transferring the bacteria to uninfected cows. Also ought to follow the rule of milking the infected animals last.
Do you have good advice for animals suffering from mastitis? Leave a comment below to share your expertise