Udder health and cell count

In order to optimize durability of the dairy cow, one of the many important aspects is udder health. Udder infections may contribute to a large part of antibiotic usage in dairy production systems. Normally udder health can be monitored quite easily with somatic cell count in the milk as a parameter. When somatic cell count is too high, this could be a sign for (subclinical) mastitis. (Subclinical) mastitis is an inflammation of the mammary gland and can occur in one of four udder quarters. It leads to diminished milk yield and milk quality, and threatens welfare of the animal. Monitoring udder health and preventing (subclinical) mastitis is therefore key. This can be done by taking multiple (preventing) measures. Through nutrition, udder health can be supported by optimizing the immune system and anti-oxidant status of the animal itself and the mammary gland more particular.