- Animals: goats
- Animal Production: preventive practices
- Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research
- Production Systems: holistic management
Detection of subclinical mastitis, on the farm –before physical symptoms appear, would be a dream come true for dairy farmers. States require monthly laboratory analysis of somatic cell count (SCC), and indicator of mastitis, but these tests are of the entire bulk tank, without the ability to differentiate amongst animals, let alone which half and to what degree, might be infected. At the farmer’s expense, individual samples can be sent to a lab at a cost of $10 per sample. Wescor’s Mas-d-tec, claims to be the world’s most advanced early mastitis detection technology and allows for as much individual testing, at the source, with immediate results, as the farmer wishes and with a price point of $375. This is an advantage in making decisions on which animals to treat or cull which equates to quantity and quality of production. However, Mas-d-tec is not calibrated for goats and Wescor cannot testify to their product’s accuracy for goats.
We propose to test with both the Mas-d-tec and an independent lab on a herd of 35-40 goats, during a ten-month lactation resulting in a calibration chart between the scale of the Mas-d-tec and the lab’s SCC. We will share the results with goat farmers through the American Dairy Goat Association, the Dairy Goat Journal, goat websites, local and regional goat associations; Massachusetts farm extension schools and other means. We believe this product could have tremendous implications for the dairy goat world and are more than willing to share results and calibration data.
Project objectives from proposal:
Detecting and treating an animal with sub-clinical mastitis, curing it and getting it back into the milking line-up is critical. Wescor’s Mas-d-tec subclinical mastitis detector claims to be the world’s most advanced early mastitis detection technology. Is it?
Our proposal is to test and record results each half of 35-40 goats' mammary system monthly over the course of a lactation with the Mas-d-tec device and send the same samples to the State’s laboratory for Somatic Cell Count testing and bacteria testing. We will compare and correlate the Mas-d-tec results, which has a scale of 0-9 to the State laboratory SCC test results, which measure in the thousands. These results will give the goat farmer the ability to correlate the Mas-d-tec results to SCC scale and therefore make a decision as to whether or not a goat is suffering from subclinical mastitis and treat accordingly.