top of page

Healthy udders for preventing mastitis

Cow udder health

Healthy cows are key to a healthy dairy business. A healthy, happy cow that feels comfortable produces more milk and is of higher quality. Udder care plays an important role in this. The cow’s udder is one of the most important parts of their bodies, and it is therefore important that they are clean and healthy.

Udder health is constantly affected by many parameters such as housing, bedding, feeding stress, hierarchy, placenta retentions, hygiene, genetics, calving, pathogenic bacteria, nonpathogenic bacteria, somatic cell count, milking machines, and climate.

Some of the factors to focus on to keep udders healthy are the following:

Environment: A clean environment will optimize the prevention of environmental mastitis pathogens. Keeping the cow housing clean and dry and making sure stalls and lounging areas are regularly cleaned and provided with clean and dry bedding.

Hygiene: Overcrowding, poor ventilation, inadequate removal of manure from stalls, alleyways, and feeding areas, poorly maintained free stalls, dirty maternity stalls or calving areas, and a general lack of farm cleanliness and sanitation can all lead to an increase exposure of pathogens.

Cow comfort: Dairy cows have a strong motivation to rest. Lying down is one the most essential activities of a dairy cow’s day which ranges from 10 to 14 hours a day. Cows with greater lying down times are linked to a higher blood flow to the udders and thus have improved milk yields. Providing cows with sand beds for resting helps with reducing stress on the knees and hocks. Cows should have a constant supply of fresh and accessible water and feed. Proper ventilation is key to removing odours and moisture and replacing it with clean and fresh air.

Nutrition: Cows should receive adequate energy and protein including vitamins and trace minerals. Trace minerals and vitamins that can affect udder health are selenium, vitamin E, copper, zinc, vitamin A and ß-carotene. Trace minerals play key roles in many enzyme systems, protein synthesis, carbohydrate metabolism and antioxidant systems, as well as immunocompetency. Udder health and immune function are influenced by the mineral status of the cows.

Reducing the risk of injury to cow udders: Cow udders are prone to injury due to their size and placement. Avoiding teat damage and use emollients in teat dip to encourage the healing of teat sores. Breeding compact udders with normal-sized teats reduces mastitis risk.

Udder hygiene: Preparing the teats before milking can involve the cleaning and/or massaging of teats before the cups are attached. With udder preparation, the teats are cleaned and thoroughly dried before the machine is attached.

  • Kenostart is a disinfecting teat dip based on iodine with non-dripping properties.

  • Kenocidin is a disinfecting teat dip based on chlorhexidine which maintains good teat skin condition.

  • Kenomix Pro is a disinfecting teat dip based on chlorine dioxide which his gentle on skin.

  • Kenopure is a pre-treatment for milking and good for cleaning, sanitizing, skin conditioning and versatile use.

  • Kenodin Film is a barrier teat dip based on iodine featuring low consumption, skin moisturizing properties, long-lasting protection and easy removal.

Alternatives to the use of antibiotics for maintaining animal health based on preventative measures will undoubtedly play an integral role in strategies aimed at improving dairy productivity with improved safety of dairy products for human consumption.

Contact a Lionel's Vet agent near you for more information on improving your herd's udder health.



84 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page