Introduction and objective:
Correlations between the number of milk somatic cells (SCC), the number of microorganisms, and the content of basic components of milk were studied on five farms (F1–F5) with cows of the same breed, but with different milking systems.

Material and methods:
From each farm, 50 Holstein Friesien milk samples were collected once a month (250 samples/month; n=3,000) during March 2022 – February 2023. Samples from farms F1 and F5 were tested for fat, protein, lactose, no fat dry matter content (FTIR spectroscopy), for the SCC (Fossomatic 7), and for the differential cells (Vetscan DC-Q).

The highest fat content was confirmed on farm F5 (3.85 ± 1.70%) and F4 (3.82 ± 0.21%) with automatic milking system (AMS). However, from the point of view of protein content, these farms showed slightly lower values (<0.05). F1 did not meet the minimum required amount for fat content (2.84 ± 0.81%) set by the legislation of the Slovakia. The comparison shows that there is not much difference in cell size between healthy cells and mastitis cells. The average size of healthy cells was approximately 8.77 ± 0.49 μm. In the monitored period, the average values determined were at the level of 292,000/mL (5.46 ± 0.72 log10 SCC) in cow milk samples, while for the rest of the year, the values remained at 256,000/mL (5.40 ± 0.80 log10 SCC). F1 was categorized as a positive farm with a high TLC (total milk leucocyte count) concentration (5.58 log10 cells/mL, 406.65 ± 53.80 × 103 cells/mL) and a predominant NEU fraction (61%). Farms F2, F4, and F5 were classified as negative farms (TLC was 4.70 ± 0.26 log10 cells/ml).

According to the results, the size of SCCs in healthy milk does not differ from SCCs found in mastitis milk. From the results, it can be concluded that the transition to the latest generation of robotic milking method can positively affect milk production and its quality.

Slovak Research and Development Agency under Contract no. APVV-22-0457 and by the Research and Development Agency under Contract No. SK-PL-230066.
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