Factors Associated with Hygienic Quality of Bulk Tank Milk Produced in Central Poland
The aim of this study was a complex analysis of organizational and technological factors affecting somatic cell count (SCC) and total microorganism count (SPC) in bulk tank milk produced in the area of Łódź Voivodeship. The study was conducted on the basis of a questionnaire completed directly in 205 family farms, maintaining Polish Black-and-White Holstein-Friesian cows. The data were analysed statistically using multifactor analysis of variance. The following factors decreased SCC in milk: application of mechanical ventilation in the cowshed; disinfection of stalls for cows; frequent inspection of milking equipment efficiency by a specialized service (twice vs. once a year); application of manual pre-milking udder massage; dry period of a standard length of 6-8 weeks (vs. 2-5 weeks); application of concentrates in amounts of at least 3 kg/day/cow; application of meadow hay and straw or hay only among roughages in cow feeding (vs. straw only); addition of vitamin E and Cu to feeding ration for cows and individual housing of replacement heifers between 1-3 months of age (vs. group system). In turn, the following factors decreased SPC: participation of milkers in specialist trainings; cleaning of teats before milking using wet towel or washing with water containing a disinfectant; "dry" storage of milking equipment between milkings; culling of cows due to mastitis; application of vitamin A and Zn; no use of milk from mastitic cows in calf feeding; and individual housing of replacement heifers during the first month of life.