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Canadian Bovine Mastitis Research Network

Our Research  I  Our Results 

Come Hell, High Water . . . or Mastitis!
A Few Puzzling Results!

It's an open secret: keeping cows standing after milking encourages teats to close, preventing the introduction of bacteria! But is this “secret” really a myth? That's one hypothesis for a CBMRN project launched in 2009 by Trevor DeVries from the University of Guelph, and Daniel Scholl from the Université de Montréal. These two researchers already have a few interesting preliminary results on this issue.
Cows remain standing longer when food is supplied between 30 minutes prior to and 60 minutes after milking. Feeding outside this period has different effects on standing time. These times are influenced by the cow’s motivation to begin a new meal or the anticipation of receiving fresh feed. Cows that lie down within 40 minutes after milking incur a greater risk of udder infection than do cows that lie down between 40 and 60 minutes after milking. However, the risk of contracting a new infection increases again when standing times exceed 60 minutes after milking. Although standing time after milking can be managed by providing fresh feed periodically, using this feeding strategy in tie stall barns seems unrealistic as a strategy for preventing mastitis. Beware of myths!

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