The effect of body cleanliness (hygiene) score on some criteria used in the detection milk quality in dairy cattle
Cow cleanliness is important for providing hygienic milk production and the welfare of dairy cows. Body cleanliness scoring was based on subjective evaluating of degree of manure contamination on different areas of the cow’s body. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of body cleanliness score on some criteria such as somatic cell count (SCC), pH, conductivity (μS/cm) and color used in the detection milk quality in dairy cattle. In this respect, Tail Head (TH), Upper Rear Limb (URL), Lower Rear Limb (LRL), Udder Side (US), Ventral Abdomen (VA) and Hind Udder (HU) regions of dairy cows were scored by 5 different assessors according to body cleanliness.
Consistency (α), correlation coefficient (r) and percentage ( ) values between observers evaluated from 5 assessors for body cleanliness score were found as 0.910, 0.688 and 0.539, respectively. In addition, the highest body cleanliness rates (%) by scoring regions, 2 and 3 scores were observed in the TH, URL and LRL regions. But, in the TH and US regions, it is observed that 1, 2 and 3 prevalence of body cleanliness scores are concentrated in this herd. As a result of analysis of variance, although conductivity (P<0.05) and some milk color parameters such as b* (P<0.05) and C* (P=0.053) values are statistically significant in US region, a* value, which is one of the other color parameters in the HU region, was again found to have higher means in the dirty body cleanliness score group. When the least squares means of clean, slightly dirty and dirty animal groups are taken into consideration, in other words, it is also observed that other milk quality criteria tend to increase due to the increasing body cleanliness score. These results suggest that a lot more attention should be paid to herd management to ensure hygienic milk production, animal health and welfare in this herd.