[Herd problem: udder health. Retrospective study of farms assessed by the Swiss Bovine Health Service (BHS) from 1999 to 2004]

Kirchhofer, Marc Peter; Tavel, L v; Strabel, D; Fournier, C; Steiner, Adrian; Graber, Hans Ulrich; Kaufmann, Thomas (2007). [Herd problem: udder health. Retrospective study of farms assessed by the Swiss Bovine Health Service (BHS) from 1999 to 2004]. DTW. Deutsche tierärztliche Wochenschrift, 114(9), pp. 338-44. Alfeld: Verlag M. & H. Schaper 10.2377/0341-6593-114-338

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Data from 59 farms with complaints of udder health problems and insufficient quality of delivered milk that had been assessed by the Swiss Bovine Health Service (BHS) between 1999 and 2004 were retrospectively analysed. Data evaluated included farm characteristics such as farm size, herd size, average milk yield, milking system and housing system, deficits of the milking equipment and the milking practices, and bacteriological results of milk samples from all cows in lactation. The average size of the farms assessed by the BHS was larger than the size of the were evaluated, 42 showed obvious failures which the farm managers could have noticed. Only 5 of the 57 milkers carried out their work according to the generally valid guidelines of the National Mastitis Council. More than 2 basic mistakes were observed in the milking practices of 36 milkers. In 51 farms, mixed infections with several problem bacteria (those present in at least 20 % of the tested cows on a farm) were found. Staphylococcus aureus proved to be the most common problem germ. As the bacteria responsible for the herd problem (the sole problem bacteria detectable on a particular farm) Staphylococcus aureus was detected in 4 farms. The current study revealed that education in the area of milking techniques and milking practices of farmers should be improved in order to reduce the incidence of udder health problems on herd level. Staphylococcus aureus is the most important problem bacteria involved in herds with udder health problems in Switzerland. Staphylococcus aureus might be used in practice as the indicator germ for early recognition of management problems in dairy farms.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Clinic for Ruminants

UniBE Contributor:

Kirchhofer, Marc Peter, Steiner, Adrian, Graber, Hans Ulrich, Kaufmann, Thomas (A)


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture




Verlag M. & H. Schaper




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:54

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:32

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/22808 (FactScience: 37064)

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