Environmental mastitis: Parlour cow flow and milking

Environmental mastitis is usually the result of infections picked up outside the milking parlour, but infections can be spread at milking. Good stockmanship to move cows around the farm as well as cow handling in the parlour are essential to ensure environmental bacteria do not enter the udder via the teat canal to cause mastitis.

Improving cow flow

In the collection area before milking, some teat ends may not be completely closed. Splashing manure can make the udders and teats dirtier and increase the risk of infection. It is, therefore, important to reduce the risk of contaminating teat ends when moving cows.

Controlling environmental mastitis in dairy cows by improving cow flow

During milking

Milking time is an ideal opportunity for bacteria from the environment to get into the udder through the teat canal. Infected cows can contaminate the cluster, and infection can spread to other cows during milking. Good routines and effective action during milking will help reduce the risk of environmental mastitis.

Reducing the risk of environmental mastitis in dairy cows during milking

Useful links

Mastitis in dairy cows

If you would like a hard copy of the Control of environmental mastitis guide please contact publications@ahdb.org.uk or call 0247 799 0069.