Improving udder health on our dairies is a priority to all of us at Dairy Doctors. Because of the importance of producing the highest quality milk, we offer a range from on-farm mastitis detection and treatment programs to complete milking system evaluations.
Our In-House Lab offers bacteriological testing for many types of milk samples.
- Routine Milk Cultures
We perform routine milk cultures on both high cell count cows as well as clinical mastitis cases to provide targeted antibiotic treatment protocols for individual cows. This allows us to “match the drug to the bug” which improves treatment success rates, decreases unnecessary drug usage, and decreases treatment cost all while improving the udder health of your herd.
- Mycoplasma Cultures
We run mycoplasma cultures on routine samples to screen for the presence of this very contagious, untreatable pathogen. By finding mycoplasma in an animal before we try treating her, we reduce the amount of time she has to shed and infect more animals, and have the opportunity to stop an outbreak before it begins.
In addition to routine cultures, we also offer quantitative cultures. Quantitative culturing provides an exact number of bacteria per volume of milk which allows us to determine a level of contamination.
- Bulk Tank Cultures
We currently run bulk tank cultures which we use to determine the effectiveness of your pre-milking prep procedure, as well as the level of bedding, teat skin, and mammary gland contamination. By running routine bulk tank cultures we can monitor potential causes of increased bulk tank cell count and stop a problem before it occurs.
- Pasteurizer, Waste Milk, Milk Replacer Cultures
We also run pasteurizer, waste milk, and milk replacer samples. This series of quantitative cultures examines the milk or milk replacer being fed to young stock. Increased bacterial loads from malfunctioning pasteurizers or from poor hygiene while transporting or mixing is a major source of disease in young stock, and can go unnoticed without routine monitoring.
On-Farm Milk Quality Services
We offer many on-farm milk quality services which we perform during a milking time/parlor evaluation.
- Monitor exact milking procedure
- Examine teat ends
- Monitor teat and cow hygiene
- Evaluate system vacuum and performance
- Perform strip yields
- Overall performance which may contribute to decreased milk quality
- Evaluate records
- Run samples that were collected
- Prepare an Action Plan
These services, which are performed at milking time, allow us to see the exact milking procedure, as well as examine teat ends, teat and cow hygiene, system vacuum and performance, perform strip yields, as well as witness many other issues which may contribute to decreased milk quality. Following the on-farm portion of the evaluation, we evaluate records, run samples we collected, and prepare a report which includes an action plan for immediately improving your milk quality as well as a long range plan on how to continue on the correct path. Dairy Doctors has done many of these evaluations over the years, and the benefits to herds of all sizes are immediately noticed.