Somatic cell count in dairy herds

Jan Lievaart

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The dairy industry has changed considerably over the past two decades, with larger farms, different management styles, and new technologies. As a result, the farmer's attention has shifted from a cow-level towards a herd-level approach, and curative treatments have been partly replaced by preventive management by means of close monitoring of herd level parameters. Guidelines to monitor udder health have been established, based on the monitoring of the Somatic Cell Count (SCC). Farmers and their advisors use the SCC data of individual cows (ISCC) as a tool to determine whether the cow should be treated during lactation or at drying off, or should be culled. At the herd level, the Bulk Milk SCC (BMSCC), the proportion of cows with subclinical mastitis, or the arithmetic mean of ISCC, provides information that helps farmers to take management decisions regarding udder health. The overall aim of the studies reported in this thesis was to critically review the usefulness of current SCC parameters for monitoring udder health at a herd level, and, if necessary, to suggest improvements and recommendations for the use of these parameters
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-167
Number of pages2
JournalTijdschrift voor Diergeneeskunde
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


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