Livestock Resources


What is Mastitis?

It’s the inflammation/swelling of animal Udder (Mammary glands)

What is it caused by?

– Bacteria, yeasts, viruses, fungi, physical or chemical agent’s.  
– characterized by changes in milk & the udder

How is it spread?

By contact of teats with contaminated hands, buckets, wiping towels, milking machines, wet and dirty beddings

Factors that may contribute to mastitis

– Poor milking procedures & inefficiency of milking personnel or milking machine
– Sores on teats
– Unhygienic animal environment
– Cows in first 2months of lactation and first 3 weeks of dry period (more prone to mastitis)
– Prior infection that was poorly managed
– Cows that have had more than 4 lactations are more susceptible to mastitis
– Cows with poor teat shape, pendulous udders and poor teat placement

How do I know my animal has mastitis?

– Change in milk consistency: ie clots, watery, or flaky
– Milk has foul smell and bad taste
– udder swollen, hot/warm, reddened, painful, hardened and later becoming shrunken
– Blocked teats
– small swellings on surface of udder
*most cases of mastitis have NO visible changes in Milk or udder and thus go unnoticed.
– This form of mastitis is known as subclinical mastitis and can reduce Milk yield by upto 40%
(California Mastitis test can be done on farm to detect this mastitis form)

Economic losses due to mastitis

– milk losses due to reduced yield, spoilage, and during treatment period
– costs of treatment
– possible death of animal
– lost udder quarters hence full production potential is never realized
– pre mature culling, leading to loss of genetic potential

What should I do if my animal has mastitis?
– Take milk sample immediately to nearest vetenary Laboratory (*do this before administering any form of treatment)
– manage mastitis according to lab results and advice from animal health service provider
Empty udder every 2-3hours
– adhere strictly to recommended treatment regime
– Cull (slaughter/get rid of) animals with lost quarters, recurrent and chronic cases of mastitis

How to prevent livestock from getting mastitis

– Maintain hygenic animal environment (proper drainage of zero grazing unit, clean milking place, proper disposal of animal waste)
– clip excess hair from udder to avoid dirt accumulation 
– disinfect teats before and after milking 
– use a separate towel for wiping the teats of each livestock milked
– Ensure complete milking and good milking speed
– increase frequency of milking in high yielding animals
– Use good milking techniques ie ‘Squeezing’ and not pulling the teats
– *Newly introduced animals should be milked separately
– *Known infected animals should be milked last starting with the healthy teats
– Dry off cows gradually administering dry cow therapy 60days before expected calving date to prevent infection
– avoid sharp objects in animals environment


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Holstein heifer©wikipedia

Central Kenya is quickly replacing Rift Valley as Kenya’s main source of Milk.

Reason: – Zero Grazing & adoption of high quality Dairy Genotypes (with reference to a single trait, set of traits) that the cows have eg high milk production of upto 40ltrs per cow per day.

So, what characteristics should be considered/are used by Dairy farmers while Buying, Selling, or Culling Dairy animals?

> rump
> loin area
> top line
> udder attachment
> angle at hock
> hoof diagonal

Which parts of the milk animal are these

and exactly what characteristcs of those parts make the cow valuable?
Some popular Dairy Milk cows include Jersey, Guernsey, ashire, Fresian, fleckvish and Hoilstein.

How do i feed my Dairy cattle to ensure constant optimum milk production?

Download Manual: Dairy Cow Milk Production Manual

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