Thursday, December 12, 2013

Goals for Bacteria in Pasteurized Milk
 
What should be our goal for level of bacteria in pasteurized waste milk for preweaned dairy calves?  Zero? 100,000 cfu/ml?
 
In his presentation, "Calf Raising - A Systematic Approach to Health," Dr. Simon Peek (Univ. Wisc. School of Vet. Med.) listed several goals for bacterial quality control.
[Peek, Simon, "Calf Raising-A Systematic Approach to Health," proceedings of Calf Congress "Growing the Next Generation" December 4-5, 2014 RIT Inn and Conference Center, Rochester, NY, pp48-60.
 
These goals are:
                                                   Goals (cfu/ml)
Sample               Total Bacterial          Total Coliform          Total E. coli              
Type                   Count                        Count                        Count
 
Colostrum          <100,000                   <10,000                    <1,000
Waste milk        <500,000                   <200,000                   <1,000 
 
Pasteurized        <20,000                     <1,000                       <100
Waste Milk
Milk Replacer   <10,000                     <1,000                       0
 
In my consulting practice I use somewhat more conservative goals that I have identified as associated with superior calf health. 
 
They are (Leadley's on-farm goals):
 
  Goals (cfu/ml)
Sample               Total Bacterial          Total Coliform          Total E. coli              
Type                   Count                        Count                        Count
 
Colostrum          <50,000                    <5,000                       <500
Waste milk        <500,000                   <200,000                   <1,000 
to be pasteurized
 
Pasteurized        <5,000                       <500                         0
Waste Milk
Milk Replacer   <5,000                       <500                         0
 
Bottom Line?
If you do not monitor by bacteria culturing on a regular basis you are not managing this important variable affecting calf health [regardless of the goals]. 
 
 
 

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