Udder

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Udder of a cow Cow udders02.jpg
Udder of a cow

An udder is an organ formed of two or four mammary glands on the females of dairy animals and ruminants such as cattle, goats, and sheep. [1] An udder is equivalent to the breast in primates and elephantine pachyderms. The udder is a single mass hanging beneath the animal, consisting of pairs of mammary glands with protruding teats. In cattle, there are normally two pairs, in sheep, goats and deer, there is one pair, and in some animals, there are many pairs. In animals with udders, the mammary glands develop on the milk line near the groin, and mammary glands that develop on the chest (such as in humans and apes and elephants) are generally referred to as breasts. [1]

Udder care and hygiene in cows is important in milking, aiding uninterrupted and untainted milk production, and preventing mastitis. Products exist to soothe the chapped skin of the udder. This helps prevent bacterial infection, and reduces irritation during milking by the cups, and so the cow is less likely to kick the cups off. It has been demonstrated that incorporating nutritional supplements into diet, including vitamin E, is an additional method of improving udder health and reducing infection. [2]

The udder, or elder in Ireland, Scotland and northern England, of a slaughtered cow was in times past prepared and consumed. [3] In other countries, like Italy, cow udder is still consumed in dishes like the traditional Teteun.

Related Research Articles

Milk White liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals

Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals, including breastfed human infants before they are able to digest solid food. Early-lactation milk is called colostrum, which contains antibodies that strengthen the immune system and thus reduces the risk of many diseases. It holds many other nutrients, including protein and lactose. Interspecies consumption of milk is not uncommon, particularly among humans, many of whom consume the milk of other mammals.

Dairy Organization that processes milk

A dairy is a business enterprise established for the harvesting or processing of animal milk – mostly from cows or buffaloes, but also from goats, sheep, horses, or camels – for human consumption. A dairy is typically located on a dedicated dairy farm or in a section of a multi-purpose farm that is concerned with the harvesting of milk.

Mammary gland Exocrine gland in humans and other mammals

A mammary gland is an exocrine gland in humans and other mammals that produces milk to feed young offspring. Mammals get their name from the Latin word mamma, "breast". The mammary glands are arranged in organs such as the breasts in primates, the udder in ruminants, and the dugs of other animals. Lactorrhea, the occasional production of milk by the glands, can occur in any mammal, but in most mammals, lactation, the production of enough milk for nursing, occurs only in phenotypic females who have gestated in recent months or years. It is directed by hormonal guidance from sex steroids. In a few mammalian species, male lactation can occur. With humans, male lactation can occur only under specific circumstances.

Dairy farming

Dairy farming is a class of agriculture for long-term production of milk, which is processed for eventual sale of a dairy product.

Bovine somatotropin Peptide hormone produced by cows pituitary glands

Bovine somatotropin or bovine somatotrophin, or bovine growth hormone (BGH), is a peptide hormone produced by cows' pituitary glands.

Raw milk unpasteurized milk

Raw milk or unpasteurized milk is milk that has not been pasteurized, a process of heating liquid foods to kill pathogens for safe consumption and extending the shelf life. Proponents of raw milk have stated that there are benefits to its consumption, including better flavor, better nutrition, and the building of a healthy immune system. However, the medical community has warned of the dangers, which include a risk of infection, and has not found any clear benefit.

Teat The projection from mammary glands from which milk flows

A teat is the projection from the mammary glands of mammals from which milk flows or is ejected for the purpose of feeding young. In many mammals the teat projects from the udder. The number of teats vary by mammalian species and often corresponds to the size of an average litter for that animal. In some cases, the teats of female animals are milked for the purpose of human consumption.

Dairy cattle cattle bred to produce milk

Dairy cattle are female cattle bred for the ability to produce large quantities of milk, from which dairy products are made. Dairy cows generally are of the species Bos taurus.

Milking

Milking is the act of removing milk from the mammary glands of cattle, water buffalo, humans, goats, sheep, and, more rarely, camels, horses and donkeys. Milking may be done by hand or by machine, and requires the animal to be currently or recently pregnant. The milker may refer either to the animal that produces the milk or the person who milks said animal.

Somatic cell count

A somatic cell count (SCC) is a cell count of somatic cells in a fluid specimen, usually milk. In dairying, the SCC is an indicator of the quality of milk—specifically, its low likeliness to contain harmful bacteria, and thus its high food safety. White blood cells (leukocytes) constitute the majority of somatic cells in question. The number of somatic cells increases in response to pathogenic bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, a cause of mastitis. The SCC is quantified as cells per milliliter. General agreement rests on a reference range of less than 100,000 cells/mL for uninfected cows and greater than 250,000 for cows infected with significant pathogen levels. Several tests like the PortaSCC milk test and The California mastitis test provide a cow-side measure of somatic cell count. The somatic cell count in the milk also increases after calving when colostrum is produced.

Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is an infectious disease in cattle caused by a virus of the family Poxviridae, also known as Neethling virus. The disease is characterized by fever, enlarged superficial lymph nodes and multiple nodules on the skin and mucous membranes. Infected cattle also may develop edematous swelling in their limbs and exhibit lameness. The virus has important economic implications since affected animals tend to have permanent damage to their skin, lowering the commercial value of their hide. Additionally, the disease often results in chronic debility, reduced milk production, poor growth, infertility, abortion, and sometimes death.

Milk fever

Milk fever, postparturient hypocalcemia, or parturient paresis is a disease, primarily in dairy cattle but also seen in beef cattle and non-bovine domesticated animals, characterized by reduced blood calcium levels (hypocalcemia). It occurs following parturition, at onset of lactation, when demand for calcium for colostrum and milk production exceeds the body's ability to mobilize calcium. "Fever" is a misnomer, as body temperature during the disease is generally not elevated. Milk fever is more commonly seen in older animals and in certain breeds.

The United States raw milk debate concerns issues of food safety and claimed health benefits of raw milk, and whether authorities responsible for regulating food safety should prohibit sale of raw milk for consumption.

Goat Domesticated mammal (Capra aegagrus hircus)

The domestic goat or simply goat is a subspecies of C. aegagrus domesticated from the wild goat of Southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the animal family Bovidae and the subfamily Caprinae, meaning it is closely related to the sheep. There are over 300 distinct breeds of goat. It is one of the oldest domesticated species of animal, according to archaeological evidence that its earliest domestication occurred in Iran at 10,000 calibrated calendar years ago.

Lactation The regulated release of milk from the mammary glands and the period of time that a mother lactates to feed her young

Lactation describes the secretion of milk from the mammary glands and the period of time that a mother lactates to feed her young. The process naturally occurs with all post-pregnancy female mammals, although it predates mammals. In humans the process of feeding milk is also called breastfeeding or nursing. Newborn infants often produce some milk from their own breast tissue, known colloquially as witch's milk.

Donkey milk Milk produced by female donkeys

Donkey milk is the milk from the domesticated donkey (Equus asinus). It has been used since antiquity for cosmetic purposes as well as infant nutrition.

Norwegian Red Breed of cattle

Norwegian Red is a breed of dairy cattle developed in Norway since 1935. Since the 1970s, breeders strongly emphasized functional and production traits resulting in excellent production combined with world-leading performance in health and fertility traits. Norwegian Red cows can have either a red and white or black coat and have a high proportion of genetically polled animals.

Mastitis in dairy cattle

Bovine mastitis is the persistent, inflammatory reaction of the udder tissue due to physical trauma or microorganisms infections. Mastitis, a potentially fatal mammary gland infection, is the most common disease in dairy cattle in the United States and worldwide. It is also the most costly disease to the dairy industry. Milk from cows suffering from mastitis has an increased somatic cell count. Prevention and control of mastitis requires consistency in sanitizing the cow barn facilities, proper milking procedure and segregation of infected animals. Treatment of the disease is carried out by penicillin injection in combination with sulphar drug.

Dairy cattle evaluation systems for rating dairy cattle

Dairy cattle evaluation is the process of placing a group of dairy cows in order from most to least desirable based on milk production and longevity, where each animal is compared against the "ideal" animal. Dairy cattle are evaluated based on physical traits that equate to high milk production, with slight variations between different breeds. Dairy cattle evaluation is primarily used by producers to select the best cows to keep in the herd.

Dry cow

A dry cow refers to a dairy cow that is in a stage of their lactation cycle where milk production ceases prior to calving. This part of their lactation cycle is referred to as the cows dry period and typically last between 40 and 65 days. Dry cows are typically divided into two groups: far-off and close-up. Once the cow has entered this stage, producers will seal the cows teat while following a veterinarian recommended, dry cow therapy for their herd. This dry period is a critical part of their lactation cycle and is important for the cows health, the newborn calf and future milk production as it allows the cow time to rest, eat and prepare for birth. During this time the cow will produce colostrum for the newly born calf.

References

  1. 1 2 Rowen D. Frandson; W. Lee Wilke; Anna Dee Fails (1 April 2013), Anatomy and Physiology of Farm Animals, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 449–451, ISBN   978-1-118-68601-0
  2. O'Rourke, D (2009-04-01). "Nutrition and udder health in dairy cows: a review". Irish Veterinary Journal. 62 (Suppl 4): S15–S20. doi:10.1186/2046-0481-62-S4-S15. ISSN   0368-0762. PMC   3339345 . PMID   22082340.
  3. The Words We Use, Diarmaid O Muirithe, irishtimes.com, 11 November 2000