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5 Things I can't do without: Charina and Ryan Dellar, milk quality and udder health

PD Staff Published on 10 June 2013

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Charina and Ryan Dellar of Dellar Dairy in Harrisville, Michigan, were featured as a virtual farm tour during the 2012 World Dairy Expo and were named platinum national dairy quality award winners from National Mastitis Council two years in a row.

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They achieved a remarkably low somatic cell count of 43,000 cells/mL with their 235-cow milking herd.

Though the herd was sold in March 2013, Charina provided us with 5 things the farm couldn’t have done without in achieving milk quality and udder health.

1. PortaSCC milk test strips and kit from PortaCheck
There was no guess work with these strips. They were very accurate. We were able to test the exact somatic cell count on any quarter of any cow.

2. Milk culturing
This was a no-brainer. Culturing allowed us to target a specific organism that was causing the mastitis. Knowing that organism made it easier for us to treat and easier to cure the issue.

I cultured my own milk and sent samples occasionally to Michigan State for extensive culturing, if needed.

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Our veterinarian was Selena Molnar at Sunrise Veterinary Setvices in Alpena, Michigan.

3. California Mastitis Test paddle
We liked how easy this was to use in the parlor and the fact that we got instant results.

Since the paddle can only read a cell count of 250,000 or higher, I followed up with the PortaSCC strips, which can read subclinical levels.

4. Aspirin boluses
These were good to use with toxic mastitis cases. It kicked the swelling and inflammation out of the udder and kicked the fever out of the cow.

5. Udder Comfort Blue
We used both the lotion and spray, and they’re really nice in conjunction with the boluses. Whether it was a hard quarter or a toxic mastitis case, the product really helped to take the swelling out and cooled the udder down.

We especially appreciated the blue color because it stayed on the udder for the next milking. Even though treated cows had red bands on their ankles, the blue color made it easy for employees to know exactly which cow and which quarter to treat. PD

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