22 October 1999

Calvings a danger time

COWS suffering a difficult calving and those treated for milk fever are more likely to succumb to toxic mastitis, according to DANI research.

DANIs Fraser Menzies believes downer cows are more susceptible to mastitis because long periods spent lying down increase exposure of the udder to mastitis bacteria in bedding. He advised using easy calving sires, seeking vet help early for difficult calvings, and giving cows with a history of milk fever preventative treatment.

When cows have to stay in calving pens for a prolonged period, maintaining clean dry bedding is critical to reduce mastitis risk.