Cow-Related Risk Factors for Milk Leakage
Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Health and Welfare, PO Box 50, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark. Journal of Dairy Science
(Impact Factor: 2.57).
01/2005; 88(1):128-36. DOI: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(05)72670-9
Milk leakage in dairy cows is a symptom of impaired teat sphincter function. Milk leakage is related to an increased risk of mastitis in heifers and cows, and causes hygiene problems. The aim of our study was to assess whether teat shape, condition of teat orifice, and peak milk flow rate are risk factors for milk leakage. We conducted a longitudinal observational study in 15 German dairy farms in which cows were maintained in loose housing. The farms were visited monthly at 2 consecutive milkings. During the evening milking, milk flow curves were measured with the LactoCorder. Milk leakage was recorded during the subsequent morning milking, when cows entered the milking parlor. Immediately after detachment of the milking cluster, teat shape, teat end shape, and condition of the teat orifice of cows were assessed between 9 and 100 d in milk (DIM) and during late lactation (>250 DIM). Data from 1600 cows were analyzed. Milk leakage was treated as the binary response variable in a logistic regression model with herd as a random effect. Primiparous cows with high peak milk flow and teat canal protrusion were at greater risk of milk leakage. High peak milk flow rate, short teats, teat canal protrusion, inverted teat ends, and early lactation increased the risk of milk leakage in multiparous cows. Random herd effects accounted for only 10% of the total variation, indicating that the impact of management or other herd-level factors on the occurrence of milk leakage is virtually negligible for practical purposes.
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