Questionnaire-based study to assess the association between management practices and mastitis within tie-stall and free-stall dairy housing systems in Switzerland.

Gordon, Paz F.; van den Borne, Bart H. P.; Reist, Martin; Kohler, Samuel; Doherr, Marcus G. (2013). Questionnaire-based study to assess the association between management practices and mastitis within tie-stall and free-stall dairy housing systems in Switzerland. BMC veterinary research, 9(200), p. 200. BioMed Central 10.1186/1746-6148-9-200

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BACKGROUND Prophylactic measures are key components of dairy herd mastitis control programs, but some are only relevant in specific housing systems. To assess the association between management practices and mastitis incidence, data collected in 2011 by a survey among 979 randomly selected Swiss dairy farms, and information from the regular test day recordings from 680 of these farms was analyzed. RESULTS The median incidence of farmer-reported clinical mastitis (ICM) was 11.6 (mean 14.7) cases per 100 cows per year. The median annual proportion of milk samples with a composite somatic cell count (PSCC) above 200,000 cells/ml was 16.1 (mean 17.3) %. A multivariable negative binomial regression model was fitted for each of the mastitis indicators for farms with tie-stall and free-stall housing systems separately to study the effect of other (than housing system) management practices on the ICM and PSCC events (above 200,000 cells/ml). The results differed substantially by housing system and outcome. In tie-stall systems, clinical mastitis incidence was mainly affected by region (mountainous production zone; incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 0.73), the dairy herd replacement system (1.27) and farmers age (0.81). The proportion of high SCC was mainly associated with dry cow udder controls (IRR = 0.67), clean bedding material at calving (IRR = 1.72), using total merit values to select bulls (IRR = 1.57) and body condition scoring (IRR = 0.74). In free-stall systems, the IRR for clinical mastitis was mainly associated with stall climate/temperature (IRR = 1.65), comfort mats as resting surface (IRR = 0.75) and when no feed analysis was carried out (IRR = 1.18). The proportion of high SSC was only associated with hand and arm cleaning after calving (IRR = 0.81) and beef producing value to select bulls (IRR = 0.66). CONCLUSIONS There were substantial differences in identified risk factors in the four models. Some of the factors were in agreement with the reported literature while others were not. This highlights the multifactorial nature of the disease and the differences in the risks for both mastitis manifestations. Attempting to understand these multifactorial associations for mastitis within larger management groups continues to play an important role in mastitis control programs.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Veterinary Public Health / Herd Health Management
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

van den Borne, Bart; Reist, Martin and Doherr, Marcus

ISSN:

1746-6148

Publisher:

BioMed Central

Language:

English

Submitter:

Susanne Portner

Date Deposited:

18 Jul 2014 11:38

Last Modified:

26 Jun 2016 01:48

Publisher DOI:

10.1186/1746-6148-9-200

PubMed ID:

24107254

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.44892

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/44892

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