A health management project in dairy cattle herds was carried out in 1998–2000 in South Pohjanmaa, Finland, by Cooperative Maitojaloste. In this investigation udder, health and teat end condition of the cows in 98 dairy farms, which participated in the project, was studied. The aim of this project was to study the relationship between teat end condition and udder health of the cows.
The reasons for the formation of teat end callus and hyperkeratosis and the factors that cause these changes are discussed, and different teat end condition scoring systems compared. Teat end condition scoring is a useful tool to detect problems with the milking machine or milking technique in the farm.
Teat ends were in good condition in farms participating in the study. In half of the farms, over 80% of all teats had score one (good) and in only eight farms less than 60% of the teat ends were in the scoring group one. Farms with best teat end condition had a very low bulk milk somatic cell count more often than farms with poorest teat condition. Results from teat end condition scoring and overmilking had a statistically significant relationship.