A simple-to-use mastitis tester that takes just five seconds a quarter can give an immediate indication of the presence of bacterial infection – sub-clinical mastitis – long before clinical symptoms are evident.

The “MAS-D-TEC”, now available in the UK exclusively from KiwiKit, eliminates guesswork, costly and time-consuming laboratory testing and is easy to use. Industry estimates indicate that annual savings can amount to an average of £100 a cow, even for small herds, so the purchase cost is paid for many times over.

MAS-D-TEC, which is now one of the biggest selling mastitis detectors in the world, works on milk conductivity. Changes in milk conductivity are a reliable indicator of mastitis and can also act as an early warning of sub-clinical infection before full mastitis develops, so that immediate remedial action can be taken. This effectively increases the average milk yield a cow and raises overall milk quality – and profits.

HOW TO USE

MAS-D-TEC is exceptionally easy to use. A small sample of milk – two millilitres is adequate – is squirted into the funnel top. The operator pushes a button and, within two seconds, the milk conductivity is analysed and indicated on the graphic scale. The milk drains through the as the readings are taking place.

There is no need for the milk to be tipped out or to wash the product between quarters or cows – simply continue to the next quarter and add more milk for testing. The instrument detects the new sample and provides a new reading. When milking or testing is completed, simply wash under a tap.

Readings range from 0 to 9, with readings of more than five in the red zone being abnormal, indicating sub-clinical mastitis in that particular quarter. If one quarter reads two points higher than the other quarters, this also indicates sub-clinical infection.

“Compare this to the laborious system of sending samples to the lab for testing,” says KiwiKit Director Kim Petty, himself a dairy farmer in Pembrokeshire. “This is much more effective, enabling farmers to do an immediate comparison of quarters. It is an essential tool to good herd management,” he says.

The instrument has all of the electronics encased in a strong, water-resistant case for long and dependable service. It is hand-held, standard nine-volt alkaline battery operated and about 4,000 samples can be tested before the battery needs changing.