LIC | Somatic Cell Counts

Somatic Cell Counts

Somatic cell counts will vary depending on what sampling regime is used but this has been taken into account when calculating the somatic cell count in the Herd Test Report. 

Why is there a variation?

The best indication of an udder's health is to analyse two milk samples within 24 hours. This is because afternoon samples will have higher concentrations of somatic cells than morning samples as there is a shorter interval between milkings. 

The differences in somatic cell counts between different Herd Test sampling regimes are shown in the graph below:
  • The variation is consistent throughout the lactation. 
  • The PM test gives a slightly higher SCC reading. 
  • The AM test gives a slightly lower SCC reading.

    Using somatic cell counts from the LabStrip and the Herd Test Report 

    For Single Test clients, the LabStrip will report on the actual somatic cells within the milk sample and the Herd Test Report will calculate a 24-hour somatic cell count. Unless a cow's SCC is extremely high, it is best to wait for the HT1 report to make mastitis treatment decisions, as this will give a better picture of actual health of the cow's udder. 

    How is the Somatic Cell Count calculated?

    Because the variation in somatic cell counts is consistent right throughout the lactation it is very easy to calculate a 24-hour SCC when a farmer uses Single Test. This calculation will adjust the SCC score taking into account the sampling regime, the age of the cow and the stage of lactation (the days in milk).


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