For decades, somatic cells counts in milk are used as an important measure for the diagnosis of udder infections in cows. The objectives of our investigation, performed on three farms during an entire lactation, was to get some data about the most important bacteria causing intramammary infections in milk sheep and to evaluate whether the determination of the cell content is a suitable diagnostic aid for the diagnosis of ovine udder inflammations. For the 105 examined ewes, the prevalence of intramammary infections was 25 % for the udder halves and 35 % for the animals. However the differences between the three herds were quite large. The vast majority of the intramammary infections were caused by coagulase negative staphylococci. Staphylococcus aureus and streptococcus spp. were isolated only in individual cases. Cell counts of foremilk samples were highly correlated with the infectious status of the udder halves. The influence of non infectious, management and individual differences on somatic cell counts showed to be of a similar magnitude as for cows. As opposed to goats, the cell count in ewe’s milk is a suitable indicator for the udder health. For ewe’s milk, an objection limit of 500’000 cells per mL might be reasonable.
Although milk-production oriented (MPO) cow breeds have also become established in the mountain region, farms with the dual-purpose ‘Original Simmental’ breed are proving to be economically viable, with lower costs and higher direct payments making up for lower revenues from milk.
High milk yields before drying-off increase the risk of udder infections during the dry period. An online survey highlights what drying-off methods are currently used and how farmers rate the ‘incomplete milking’ approach for reducing milk yield.
Herholz C., Siegwart J., Bruckmaier R.M., Rytz E., Lamon I., Muhr M. und Stirnimann R.
In both sport and alternative agriculture, horses are once again being used as draught animals. Efficient power transmission plays an important role in the wellbeing of draught horses.