An innovation in cubicles’ hygiene


Mastitis is one of the most impacting disease in dairy farming in terms of cost and antibiotic utilization and, within the risk factors and management practices associated, cubicles cleanness is strongly related with somatic cell count.

A survey carried out in Illinois (Rivelli and Cardoso, 2015) showed that the higher is the organic matter (feaces and urine) content of inorganic bedding (such as sand, mattress etc.), the higher is the somatic cell count. Moisture is another critical factor, as it is strongly related with environmental bacteria count (Zdanowicz et al., 2004). Often hydrated lime is used for limiting moisture of bedding material and mattress, however, even if hydrated lime is capable to reduce the moisture content and bacteria thanks to the rising of pH, as a side effect It frequently cause teat irritation (Kristula et al., 2008). Limestone, clays and calcium sulphate are used as alternative of hydrated lime, due to the lack of irritating effect; however, those minerals are dustiness, have low moisture absorption capacity and make a sort of paste once wet. Sawdust represent a good option, however the absence of toxic components, Klebsiella and hard particles has to be strictly controlled.

Recently Mazzoleni developed Confort Dry, an innovative absorbent conditioner characterized by low dustiness and high moisture absorption capacity together with the ability to rise litter pH. Confort Dry contains also a marker, that allows to verify the areas with higher humidity and the homogeneousness of application, and a flies repellent aroma. Thanks to the low dustiness, the product is suitable to be spread with automatic spreaders with the maximum comfort for operators and animals. Due the high absorption capacity, Confort Dry is effective at low dosage: 100-150 g per bunk per week in cubicles with straw, stalks, sawdust, separate dry or manure; 100g/week in the back third of the cubicle with mattress and 100 g/m2 every 3-4 days in calf hutches.