A bi-seasonal evaluation of somatic cell count, hygiene scores, and bedding cultures of Holstein cows housed in a compost bedded pack barn

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Mould, Gabrielle
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University Honors College Middle Tennessee State University
Cows housed on compost bedded pack barns are known to experience reduced somatic cell counts (SCC) compared to other types of housing. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between SCC, bacterial cultures of milk and bedding, and hygiene scores of cows. Holstein cows (n=18) were monitored for 28 days during fall and spring seasons. Cows were sorted into high (H) and low (L) groups based on SCC. Weekly milk samples were collected, measured for SCC and those testing greater than 250,000 cells/mL were cultured. High cows had lower milk yields (P=0.0001), higher somatic cell scores (P=0.0003) and lower average activity (P< 0.0001) than L cows. Seasonally, cows exhibited lower milk yields in the fall (P<0.0001) while also having higher somatic cell scores (P=0.0003), average activity (P<0.0001) and average rest bouts (P<0.0001). These results suggest somatic cell score and season affect a cow’s productivity and udder health.
College of Basic and Applied Sciences, somatic cell count, compost bedded pack barn, mastitis