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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Getting the score on cow hygiene

Poor cow hygiene can contribute to mastitis, Johne's disease, salmonella, and a host of other health issues. To help producers quantify herd hygiene, Nigel B. Cook of the University of Wisconsin-Madison developed the "Hygiene Scoring Card." This system should be used as a troubleshooting tool and to assess improvements in hygiene management.

In a herd of less than 100 head, Cook recommends scoring all cows. In a herd of 100+ cows, he recommends scoring at least 25% of the cows in each pen.

Three zones should be scored separately: lower leg, udder, and upper leg & flank. Each zone is scored on a scale of 1-4, with scores of 3 & 4 showing a poor level of hygiene.

Below are images from the Hygiene Scoring Card. Hygiene scores appear on the bottom right corner of each image. Brief descriptions for each score have been provided.

Click on this link to view the Hygiene Scoring Card and instructions for its use:

Source: N.B. Cook, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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