Tuesday, January 3, 2017

More on Bacteria Counts in Colostrum

In my December 29, 2016 post I suggested that bacteria counts over 200,000 or 300,000 should not be considered "normal" for a commercial dairy.

I went back in my files to check on a 400 cow dairy in western New York State. We started working together in the fall of 2003 to improve colostrum management.

These are the culture results from the following February and June, 2004.
Table 1. Lab results reported on 6/17/04
Sample ID
Coliform bacteria (cfu/ml)
Total bacteria (cfu/ml)
Colostrum #1113 Kevin 3/3/04
None
15,600 (Strep. Species)
Colostrum #1317 4/17/04
None
1,900
Colostrum #1285 M 4/18/04
None
7,800 (Staph. Species)
Colostrum #1306 M 4/29.04
500
TNTC (Strep. Species)
Colostrum #1135 R 5/4/04
300
1,100
Colostrum #10 B 5/23/04
None
None





Table 2. Samples reported February, 2004
Sample ID
Coliform bacteria (cfu/ml)
Total bacteria (cfu/ml)
Colostrum #494 M 1//26
None
TNTC (Staph)
Colostrum #1033 T 1/30
None
800
Colostrum #1126 T 2/5
500
19,800 (some yeast)
Colostrum #701 frozen
None
1,500
Waste Milk
1,300
3,700
Colostrum #1167 M 2/5
200
1,300




The two cows with high bacteria counts were chronic mastitis animals that appear not to have cleared these infections during the dry periods. 

When they submitted samples  three years later in May 2007 the culture results look like this:
Sample ID
Coliform bacteria (cfu/ml)
Total bacteria (cfu/ml)
Colostrum #661 M
None
None
Colostrum #1293 B 4/14
None
400 (300 Staph species, 100 Strep species)
Colostrum #1546 M 4/11
None
1,000 (800 Staph species, 200 Strep species)
Colostrum #1555 D 2/15
None
None
Colostrum #1694 B 4/26
None
400 (200 Staph species, 200 Strep species)
Colostrum #1729 D 4/19
None
10,500 (10,200 Staph species, 300 Strep species)

When they submitted samples in March 2012 the culture results look like this:
Sample ID
Coliform bacteria (cfu/ml)
Total bacteria (cfu/ml)
#2269 N 1-26
None
900 (700 Staph species, 200 Strep species,)
#2112 M 1/25
None
900 (600 Staph species, 200 Strep species, 100 gram pos bacillus)
#2433 M 2/3
None
600 (200 Staph species, 100 Strep species, 300 gram pos bacillus)
#2217 B 1/28
None
3,000 (2,000 Staph species, 500 Strep species, 500 gram pos bacillus)
#1881 M 2/14
None
4,500 (3,000 Staph species, 1,000 Strep species, 500 gram pos bacillus)
#2452 N 2/22
None
500 (200 Staph species, 300 Strep species)
#2109 N 2/21
100
1,300 (800 Staph species, 400 Strep species, 100 coliforms)
#2449 B 2/5
None
1,200 (700 Staph species, 300 Strep species, 200 gram pos bacillus)
Can they sustain this level of colostrum management? Here are the Spring, 2016 culture results.

Sample ID
Coliform bacteria (cfu/ml)
Total bacteria (cfu/ml)
2948
7,500
32,500 (25,000 Strep species, 7,500 coliforms)
2655
None
None
3021
None
2,300 (1,500 Strep species, 500 Staph species, 300 gram pos bacillus)
3089
None
1,600 (800 Staph species,. 300 Strep species, 500 gram pos bacillus)
2803
None
300 Strep species
2587
None
300 (200 Strep species, 100 gram pos bacillus)
3053
100
1,300 (1,000 Staph species, 200 Strep species, 100 gram pos bacillus)
3115
None
4,400 (1,300 Staph species, 2,500 Strep species, 600 gram pos bacillus)
I conclude that low bacteria counts can be achieved - over 12  years on this dairy. Here and there a blip but overall results are good. 

What does it take to get here? Good protocols and strong "buy-in" by both the dairy owner and the herdsman. 

Do you have a good example to share? Let me know at smleadley@yahoo.com

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