Relationship between test-day measures of somatic cell count and milk production in California dairy cows.

J. W. Tyler, Mark Thurmond, L. Lasslo

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23 Scopus citations


The relationship between test-day measures of milk somatic cell count and milk yield was evaluated using the November 1985 test data from 8352 Holstein cattle (2923 primiparous and 5429 multiparous cows) located in ten Tulare County, California dairies. Following correction for herd and stage of lactation effects, design variable regression was used to create separate models for primiparous and multiparous cows predicting the changes in milk production associated with milk somatic cell count class. Cell counts were stratified by 1/2 loge cell count (x1000 cells/mL) units, permitting comparisons with previous studies. Cell counts less than 148,000/mL were not found to be associated with significant reductions in milk yield when compared to the reference class (cell counts less than 20,000/mL). Consistent incremental decreases in milk production were not noted with increasing cell count strata, even following the natural log transformation. The most dramatic production losses were noted in the range of 148,000 to 665,000 cells/mL. Primiparous cattle in the 403,000 to 665,000 cell count strata experienced a 5.22 kg (19.72%) decrease in test-day milk yield. Multiparous cattle in the same class experienced 3.01 kg (7.82%) reductions in milk production. Primiparous and multiparous cows had similar production losses. The study population differed from previous studies on the basis of herd size, milk production and the level of udder health, measured by milk somatic cell count. These differences and the choice of experimental design may in part explain differences in study results and conclusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-187
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian journal of veterinary research = Revue canadienne de recherche veterinaire
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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