Incidence of environmental mastitis accounts for more than 50% of all mastitis cases in UK cattle. Costs associated with environmental mastitis are not just from treatment alone.
In fact, mastitis treatment is less than 15% of the total economic cost. The largest portion of the cost is in lost milk production, not just in the existing lactation, but damage to tissues can be permanent and affect subsequent lactations as well.
The economic impact of a clinical case of mastitis is thought to be in the neighbourhood of £149-£250 per case and infects in the region of 30–70 cows in an average 100 cow herd each year. Based on this information, environmental mastitis can cost a 100 cow herd between £4,500 and £17,500 per year.
Paraphrasing an old adage: prevention is cheaper than the cure, farmers should pay particular attention to preventing conditions that allow the bacteria causing environmental mastitis to proliferate. The bacteria (such as E.Coli & Strep Uberis) which causes environmental mastitis infections, prefer conditions where moisture and organic materials are prevalent - these bacteria will grow and multiply rapidly in these conditions.
For that reason, farmers should pay particular attention to ensure bedding areas for livestock are kept clean and dry, and at appropriate stocking levels. Further attention should be paid to selection of bedding material.
While organic materials such as sawdust, crop residues, paper, pulp or compost are readily available and highly absorbent, they also act as food sources for environmental mastitis inducing bacteria. When this material becomes wet, it makes it very easy for bacteria present to grow and multiply with populations getting quite large within 24 hours.
Even when bedding areas treated with organic materials are maintained by removing faecal matter and urine, while replenishing bedding material daily, there is no guarantee that the material itself is free from bacteria in the first place.
MasterCAL bedding lime is an ideal product for farmers to use for bedding livestock. MasterCAL is a blend of hydrated lime and high purity calcium carbonate. Highly absorbent, MasterCAL is made from inorganic limestone which bacteria cannot use as a food source. Further, the hydrated lime blended into the MasterCAL raises pH to a level of 12.4 which has been proven to denature bacteria.
The combination of hydrated lime with calcium carbonate allows the material to very quickly buffer to a point which continues to be inhospitable to bacterial proliferation, yet minimises the risk of inflammation or burns that can be associated with other treatments.
MasterCAL high protection bedding lime is a readymade blend of hydrated lime and calcium carbonate. Used regularly at a rate of 500g/cubicle per day, MasterCAL can reduce disease and infections that come from bacteria present in the bedding environment.
MasterCAL reduces the risk of tissue damage to livestock and can aid in the reduction of lameness in housed livestock in addition to helping to reduce the incidence of environmental mastitis. MasterCAL is highly absorbent and inorganic, making it inhospitable to moulds and fermentation. MasterCAL is available in 20kg paper bags or one tonne sacks and is an ideal product for farmers to use in helping to keep livestock clean and dry and free of diseases caused by environmental bacteria.
MasterCAL High Protection Bedding Lime is available at many merchants across Northern Ireland. Contact Kilwaughter Lime on 028 2826 2132 to learn more on availability and on how MasterCAL can benefit your operation.