Comparative Effect of Different Milking Methods and Udder Hygiene on Somatic Cell Count and Milk Quality in Dairy Cows


1 Department of Livestock Management, Agricultural University Peshawar,Peshawar, Pakistan

2 Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics,Agricultural University Peshawar,Peshawar, Pakistan

3 Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Agricultural University Peshawar,Peshawar, Pakistan


108 milk samples were collected to study the relationship of somatic cell counts (SCC) and milk composition with milking methods and udder hygiene from 27 Holstein Frisian (HF) dairy cows having moderate milk yield in mid-lactation and parity of 2 to 4, at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Agricultural University Peshawar dairy farm. All animals were randomly distributed into three categories on the basis of milking methods (Mm) including machine milking (MM); gentle hand milking (GH) and rough hand milking (RH). Each category was further subdivided into three groups on the basis of udder hygienic conditions. Upon cleaning methods and visual contamination of udder, the udder hygienic (UH) conditions were categorized into good (washed with water and disinfectant) (GUH), moderate (washed with water only) (MUH) and poor (cleaned with towel) udder hygiene (PUH), having three animals in each group. 10 ml milk sample was collected insterilized glass bottles from each animal during 28 days of experiment with weekly interval. Milk samples were analyzed for SCC and milk composition i.e. milk fat %, solid not fats (SNF) and total solids (TS). Results showed a significant difference for SCC and SNF, influenced by udder hygiene and TS affected by udder hygiene × milking method interaction (UH×Mm). Non significant differences were observed for all the studied traits. Means table showed maximum value of SCC in (PUH) (0.554 millions/mL) followed by (0.521) in (MUH) and (0.470) in (GUH), where as for (Mm), higher SCC was calculated in MM (0.548 millions/mL) followed by RH (0.474) and GH (0.523). Lowered trend was observed in SCC under (GUH) interactions and lowest SCC was found in (GUH×GH) (0.425 millions/mL). Various treatments showed no significant effect on milk fat %. SNF was significantly affected by (UH) and showed maximum value of (8.94%) in (GUH) and minimum value of (8.58%) in (PUH). For TS, (GUH×MM) interaction showed maximum value of 12.33% while (PUH×RH) interactions showed minimum value of 11.62%. It is suggested that the association of somatic cell count may be used as an indicator of hygienic status of the farm and may be use as a tool for setting milk marketing standards.


Abbas D.R.Z. and Iqbal D.Z. (2002). Production of milk quality. Pak. Vet. J. 23, 35-41.
AOAC. (1990). Official Methods of Analysis. Vol. I. 15th Ed. Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Arlington, VA.
Atakan K. (2008). A study of somatic cell counts in the milk of Holstein Friesian cows managed in mediterranean climatic conditions. Turk. J. Vet. Anim. Sci. Vol. 32(1), 13-18.
Barkema H.W., Van Der Ploeg J.D., Schukken Y.H., Lam T.J.G.M., Benedictus G. and Brand A. (1998). Management style and its association with bulk milk somatic cell count and incidence rate of clinical mastitis. J. Dairy Sci. 82, 1655-1663.
Filipovic D. and Kokaj M. (2009). The comparison of hand and machine milking on small family dairy farms in central Croatia. Livest. Res. Rural. Dev. 5, 21-28.
Harding F. (1995). Milk Quality. Blackie Academic and Professional. Chapman Hall, Glasgow, U.K.
James C.S. (1995). Determination of the fat content of dairy products by Gerber method. Pp. 93-95 in Analytical Chemistry of Food. Blackie Academic and Professional. Chapman Hall, Glasgow, U.K.
Moxley J.E., Kennedy B.W., Downey B.R. and Bowman J.S.T. (1978). Survey of milking hygiene practices and their relationships to somatic cell counts and milk production. J. Dairy Sci. 61, 1637-1644.
Pamela L.R. (2003). Investigation of mastitis problems on farms. Vet. Clin. North American. Food Anim. Pract. 19(1), 47-73.
Park Y.W. and Humphrey R.D. (1986). Bacterial counts in goat milk and their correlations with somatic cell counts, percent fat, and protein. J. Dairy Sci. 69, 32-37.
Philipsson G., Schukken Y.H. and Wilmink J.B.M. (1995). Correlation between lactation means, SSC and CM. J. Dairy Sci. 80, 1833-1840.
Robert J.H. (2001). Somatic cell counts: a primer. National Mastitis Council. Annual Meeting Proceedings. Univ. Kentucky. Lexington, Kentucky.
SAS Institute. (1996). SAS®/STAT Software, Release 6.11. SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, NC.
Schalm O.W., Carroll E.J. and Jain N.C. (1971). Evaluation of mastitis in bovine and testing procedure and control. Am. J. Vet. Res. 30, 1795-1781.
Sharif A., Ahmad T., Bilal M.Q., Yousaf A. and Muhammad G. (2007). Effect of severity of sub-clinical mastitis on somatic cell count and lactose contents of buffalo milk. Pak. Vet. J. 27(3), 142-144.
Sharif A. and Muhammad G. (2008). Somatic cell count as an indicator of udder health status under modern dairy production: a review. Pak. Vet. J. 28(4), 194-200.
Singh P.R. and Ludri R. (2001). A normal mean and variation of somatic cell count in buffalo milk. Can. Vet. J. 23, 119-125.
Tekelioglu O.,Cimen M. and Bayril T. (2010). The milk biochemical parameters having economic importance in machine milked cows. J. Anim. Vet. Adv. 9, 519-521.
Wiggans G.R. and Shook G.E. (1987). A lactation measure of somatic cell count. J. Dairy Sci. 70, 2666-2672.
  • Receive Date: 21 February 2012
  • Revise Date: 11 May 2012
  • Accept Date: 06 July 2012
  • First Publish Date: 01 June 2013