Why is this important?
- A high bulk milk somatic cell count (SCC) indicates a high level of mastitis (usually subclinical) in the herd
- About 15% of cows have (subclinical) mastitis for every 100,000 cells/ml
- Sharp rises often indicate missed clinical cases
- Impact of mastitis on SCC is more pronounced when fewer cows in milk e.g. at the start or end of season.
You have a problem with SCC if you have:
- SCC grades
- SCC alerts or warnings
- Spikes in SCC (+50,000 cells/ml)
- Upward trend in SCC steeper than target curve - see Guideline 11.1
- SCC above industry average - see Industry Benchmarks.
Your options include:
- Work out value of reducing SCC, see the SmartSAMM Gap Calculator.
- Strip herd to find missed clinicals. See:
- Healthy Udder - Find 1 for finding clinicals
- Guideline 4.2 for defining clinical cases for treatment
- Guideline 5.2 for ways to strip whole herd.
- Find high SCC cows with RMT. These should be more closely inspected for clinical signs, or excluded from the vat. See:
- Healthy Udder - Find 2 for using an RMT (Rapid Mastitis Test).
- Arrange emergency herd test. Find high SCC cows and check for clinical signs. Can also exclude from vat or dry off quarter/cow early.
- Get help - a second pair of eyes (vet, milk quality advisor) can help spot problems with your system to prevent mastitis. Go to: