Investigation of the relationship between bedding bacteria counts, bedding characteristics and bedding management practices with udder health and milk quality on dairy farms


Team: Godden, S. (PI), Royster E. (Co-PI), Timmerman, J., Fetrow, J., Crooker, B., Fox,  L., Ruegg. P.

Funding Source: Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, and MN DHIA

Project Time Frame: 2014-2018

High levels of bacteria in bedding are associated with increased bacteria loads on teat ends and, in some reports, with an increased risk for environmental mastitis infections.  Unfortunately the dairy industry needs significantly more information on the relationship between bedding bacteria counts (BBC) and udder health before science-based cutpoints may be derived to assist producers and consultants in monitoring and interpreting bedding culture reports as part of a comprehensive milk quality program. Objectives of this study are to i) gain a better understanding of the relationship between BBC and udder health, ii) establish science-based cutpoints for interpreting bedding culture reports, and iii) gain a better understanding of bedding characteristics and management strategies that producers may manipulate to reduce BBC and improve udder health within their herds.