Dairy cows: Controlling heifer mastitis 

Heifer mastitis has a significant impact on long-term udder health and milk yield. Find out more about the disease and how it impacts your herd and costs. 

Understanding why and how to control mastitis infections in heifers

Udder infections can be picked up from the environment or transmitted from one heifer or cow to another. Heifer mastitis before or after calving, or during the first lactation, significantly affects udder health and lifetime milk yield. There’s also an associated culling risk  particularly in cases involving major pathogens. 

This impact on your profitability, as well as on the welfare of your animals, means that it’s critical to prevent and manage mastitis in your herd. In these pages, we explain how mastitis affects your costs, look at the bacteria involved in different types of mastitis, and take you through strategies for managing, treating and preventing mastitis infections in your heifers. 

For more information, find out about our QuarterPro programme, visit the Dairy Mastitis Control Plan and use our Mastitis Pattern Analysis Tool (MPAT) for a simple, automated way of understanding transmission patterns and heifer management issues in your herd. 

Evaluating heifer mastitis and its costs

Mastitis treatment and control is one of the largest costs to the UK dairy industry, and it’s also a significant factor in heifer welfare. Read our advice on understanding the impact of mastitis on your heifer herd and profitability. 

Find out how mastitis infections affect your yield

Mastitis pathogens

Mastitis infections occur as a result of pathogens, disease-causing bacteria that infect the udder. Find out about the different pathogens responsible for different types of mastitis, such as summer mastitis. 

Learn about the pathogens that cause mastitis in heifers

Clinical and subclinical mastitis

Learn what to look out for when monitoring mastitis in your heifers, including how to spot summer mastitis and how to reduce the risk of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) infections. 

Read about clinical and subclinical mastitis in heifers

Reducing the risk of mastitis

Find out treatment options for mastitis in heifers, as well as discovering strategies for managing and preventing infections in your herd through effective environment management and optimised husbandry. 

Learn how to reduce the risk of your heifers suffering from mastitis

Useful links

Download resource: Control of heifer mastitis

Download resource: Control of contagious mastitis

If you would like to order a hard copy of the Control of contagious mastitis guide or Control of heifer mastitis please contact: publications@ahdb.org.uk or telephone: 0247 799 0069

Control contagious mastitis in dairy cows

Control heifer mastitis in dairy cows