Investigation of the Relationship Between Bedding Materials, Bedding Characteristics, and Intramammary Infection in Late Lactation Dairy Cows


Team: Godden, S., Royster E., Crooker, B., Rowe, S.

Funding Source: Zoetis

Intramammary infection (IMI) at the time of dry off has been associated with increased risk for IMI after calving and associated losses in the subsequent lactation (e.g. elevated SCC, milk loss, increased clinical mastitis risk). High levels of bacteria in bedding have been associated with increased bacteria loads on teat ends and, in some reports, with an increased risk for environmental mastitis infections. The dairy industry needs a better understanding of the many of management-related factors that may influence BBC and IMI risk in late lactation cows so that guidelines can be developed to assist producers in improving udder health and milk quality. Our first objective is to describe the relationship between bedding characteristics, bedding management practices and bedding bacteria counts in different bedding materials.  Our second objective is to describe the relationship between bedding materials and bedding characteristics with intramammary infection risk for late lactation quarters and cows, when considering different pathogen groups of interest including gram-positive and gram-negative organisms.