Är korta spenar ett problem i samband med mjölkning?
Abstract: In some herds it has been observed that extremely short teats have become a problem; with a negative influence on the milking performance. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate to what degree the quality of the teats and the milk in cows with short teats is affected as compared with cows with normal teat length and furthermore if the milking performance could be improved by using a liner adapted to short teats. This study was divided in two parts. In the first part, it was examined if there were any differences between short teats and teats with normal length with reference to the milking performance, udder emptying, teat treatment, milk quality, and udder health. 11 pairs of cows were used and in each pair of cows one cow had teats shorter than 40 mm while the other cow had teats longer than 50 mm. The cows were also matched together, primarily according to the milk yield and secondarily according to the udder health established just before the study took place. In the second part, only 6 cows with short teats were used. The experiment was carried out with a changeover design. Two different liners were compared, with reference to the same parameters as in the first period. The whole study was performed during a total of 8 weeks. The following registrations were done: measuring of teat length before and after milking, measuring the vacuum in the teat cup, measuring of teat wall thickness by ultrasound before and after milking, and measuring of the residual volume. In addition, the milk was analyzed for somatic cell count, free fatty acids, fat in residual milk, fat, protein, and lactose. Teat length was significantly different between the two groups in the first part, which indicates a god selection of animals. Since the number of cows in the study is pretty small and the standard deviation is large in both trials, no significant difference could be shown between the two treatments. However, the study still reflects certain tendencies that short teats have a less careful teat treatment than normal teat length. Furthermore, the study shows that it's better to milk a short teat with a better suited liner. Since the duration of the study was relatively short in time, no difference in udder health can be shown. This would be interesting to examine in further studies.
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