Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Animal and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Melissa Morgan


Compost bedded pack barns utilize composting methods which provide a soft surface for dairy cows to lie on. This requires optimal microbial growth, which may increase the exposure of mastitis-causing pathogens to the teats of early lactation animals. Bedding characteristics, bedding bacteria, and bacterial counts on the teat skin, teat ends, and in the milk of early lactation dairy cows housed on a compost bedded pack were assessed over a 6-month time. The main objective was to determine the relationship between environmental effects (bedding characteristics and weather conditions) and cow-level (teat skin, teat end, milk) bacteria counts over time in transition cows. A secondary objective was to assess CBP characteristics across time and what environmental factors influence bedding bacteria counts. The final objective was to determine if various stages of the transition period (2-weeks prepartum, 72-hours postpartum, 60 days in milk) influenced the cow-level microbial populations.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)