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We also have the monthly checks, but we really felt we wanted to have more timely results. Dairy Health Check is awesome and allows for more immediate results. It's also extremely easy to use. I've talked a lot with Shannon McFadden at Dairy Quality, and she has always been there to answer my questions. As a matter of fact, Shannon even made the trip down to visit us.
The Dairy Quality Health Check cell counter is a useful cow management tool for my farm. To be able to get immediate cell count information on my sick cows is useful to determine when to return her milk to the tank. Some of my treated cows have high counts for two weeks after antibiotic withholding has passed. I also check fresh cows at about two weeks fresh if they were elevated last lactation. The DHI information is somewhat old when I receive it, this counter gives me accurate numbers in a matter of minutes, so I can make management decisions for that cow. I also use the counter on the bulk tank as well. We snap test each load before pickup so I run the cell as well that way if I have a problem I know about it much earlier than when I get that sample back in 4-6 days. This counter is definitely worth purchasing if you have any cell count issues or would like to lower yours. I now put more time and effort into my quality decision making and have found many of my problem cows have other problems as well such as breeding issues and perhaps get culled a little quicker. The numbers the counter gives me are very close to the numbers I get from the plant so I have accurate information to make decisions.
When I first began to use the Dairy Quality Inc. Dairy Health Check system, I'll admit, I was skeptical. I had been previously relying on the CMT, monthly DHIA tests, on-farm culturing, and daily milking information. I thought how could this make my life easier and is it even accurate? Well, long story short, it's great and has become a crucial part of my management decisions and practices. The Dairy Health Check system has helped me to significantly lower the herd sec and keep it down. It has done this through allowing me to more easily identify chronic high somatic cell count cows and make more precise culling decisions. It also has allowed me to more easily attain the SCC of fresh cows entering the herd and to confirm treatment efficacy after a mastitis infection. This is a truly great system and I will be using it years to come!