Teat morphology: influencing factors and the relation with udder health in Holstein cows

    Project Details


    Main research question/goal
    Despite numerous efforts to reduce the incidence of mastitis in dairy cows, this disease is still the most economically important disease in dairy herds. Review of the literature indicates that teat dimensions, especially in combination with teat cup liners, affect udder health. To improve herd management with regard to teat dimensions (e.g. teat cup liner choice, selection of cows), we need to gain insight into the existing variation in teat dimensions. This project generates information about this variation and the relation between teat dimensions and udder health. ILVO meets this goal using a newly developed objective, accurate, and precise measuring method based on image analysis.

    Research approach
    The first step in this project is to develop and validate a measuring device that measures teat length and diameter at different heights of the teat. This device uses image analysis to acquire fast, objective, and accurate measurements. These measurements are then used to determine the variation in teat dimensions and the factors associated with teat dimensions in both a cross-sectional and longitudinal study. In the last part of this project, we examine the relation between teat dimensions, the short term milking-induced changes in teat dimensions, and udder health.


    The measuring device developed, as well as the information generated, have many applications. Dairy farmers, consulting and breeding organizations, manufacturers, and research institutes will benefit by i) better teat cup liner selection and evaluation of the milking machine settings and milking procedures, ii) more efficient data-gathering for breeding purposes, and iii) research on the relationship between teat dimensions and teat condition, udder health and milking characteristics.


    Funding provider(s)
    ILVO - Instituut voor Landbouw-, Visserij- en voedingsonderzoek

    External partner(s)
    Ugent - Fac. Diergeneeskunde
    Effective start/end date1/11/0912/06/12

    Data Management Plan flag for FRIS

    • DMP not present


    Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.