My name is Priscila Raijche de Oliveira and I am an exchange student from Brazil. Since I arrived at Mississippi State last semester, I wanted to enroll in an internship but because I was still trying to adapt myself to a new language and culture I decided to keep this project to the next semester. Past my adaptation time I saw that Dr. Ward had a project with dairy cattle and decided to be part of it. So, this semester I am working with her on an extension project related to dairy management during milking. On this project Dr. Ward and her students will travel to Mississippi farms to collect data about milking management and cow’s health, this data includes pre-milking procedures (dip teats, teats strip and wipe, dry teats), waiting time, milking time in seconds per cow, teat condition score (teats with cracks are scored) and teat shapes.
Pre-milking procedures are important to maintain high quality milk and in the same way maintain teats and herd health avoiding the entrance of pathogenic microorganisms trough teat sphincter. Teat shapes and teat condition scores are also important measures that can be affected by different agents such as milking machine effects, environmental effects and infectious agents. Due to that, the evaluation and identification of these parameters are important to identify possible problems during milking that may be affecting teats health and consequently milk production.
These are the tables that we will use as parameter for teat evaluation. For teat shapes the ideal would be the round shape (score 1) and for cracks Score 0 to 1 can be considered good scores.
Teat skin health is important to protect the teat from microorganisms and avoiding infections and consequently reduced milkability.
During the next few weeks I will be traveling to different farms to collect this data and I am very excited to post my future experiences through this journal.