What is it?The tool includes bulk milk somatic cell counts, quarterly bulk milk mastitis pathogen testing and NMR recording data if available. The combination of results will help determine whether using selective dry cow therapy is a suitable option for your herd.
Why should you do it?
Reducing the amount of antibiotics used in dairy farming is a priority of the industry. Non-infected cows will not benefit from antibiotic dry cow treatment and it may in fact increase their chances of suffering mastitis in the next lactation. It makes much more sense to make decisions at an individual cow level rather than blanket treatment at a herd level.
What are the benefits?
Only treating certain cows with antibiotics during the dry period will help reduce the number of antibiotic dry cow tubes used and potentially the number of cows you need to treat for mastitis in the next lactation. This will cut costs and prevent unnecessary antibiotic treatments.
On a wider scale, the dairy industry is keen to reduce the amount of antibiotics used in order to prevent antibiotic resistance. We all have a part to play in ensuring that antibiotics remain effective in the future.
What is involved?
We can schedule your quarterly mastitis pathogen testing automatically using your bulk milk samples stored in our fridge, so no additional sampling is necessary. Once you sign up to this service, the testing will happen automatically and the results will be sent to you each quarter. If you are recording with NMR your individual cow SCC data will be added to your SCDT report on Herd Companion along with mastitis data if you are providing it to your recorder.
What happens next?
Once we have your results, these will be available on Herd Companion and will be emailed to you directly. We also recommend that you provide us with your vet's contact details so that we can send them a copy. Veterinary advice is essential when considering selective dry cow therapy.
How much does it cost?
This SDCT costs £80 per year + VAT including quarterly bulk milk PCR testing. This report is available free of charge without the PCR testing for all those that have access to Herd Companion. It only contains available data, for example it only contains information about ICSCC if you are NMR recording.