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Six Steps to SCC Success

The old proverb "Tús maith leath na hoibre" (a good start is half the work) is very relevant when it comes to management of Somatic Cell Count (SCC) in early lactation. Stuart Childs, Dairy Specialist and Don Crowley, Milk Quality Specialist list Six Steps to Somatic Cell Count (SCC) Success here

The old proverb of Tús maith leath na hoibre (a good start is half the work) is a very important one when it comes to management of Somatic Cell Count (SCC) in early lactation. If you can stay in control of SCC in the early stages of lactation, you will set yourself up for the year ahead.

To do so, follow the six steps below;

  1. Wear gloves – easier to clean and reduces the risk of spread
  2. Change liners if you have not already done so to improve liner contact with teats and ensure good milk out
  3. Have an antibiotic/colostrum group of cows. This will allow you time to focus on these cows as they are being milked rather than ones and twos in each row.
  4. Know your enemy – take samples from any mastitis cases before you treat them and get them to the lab as soon as you can. Freeze them if you can’t get them away the day they are collected.
  5. Teat Spray properly – 15ml/cow/milking done correctly ensuring full teat coverage
  6. Milk record early (<60 days after 1st cow calved) and ID high SCC cows. CMT these cows to identify the offending ¼ or ¼s. Milk these last or mark them and disinfect clusters after they have been milked to stop spread

Watch this short video on how to use the California Milk Test (CMT ) below:


 For more on Milk Quality check out the Teagasc Milk Quality webpage