One dairy herd’s SCC halves with a non-antibiotic system for managing udder health.

A Co. Carlow dairy farm has made substantial reductions in usage of antibiotics, by tackling mastitis with an alternative strategy to antibiotics that has more than halved its herd somatic cell count (SCC).

The Ryan family – Nicholas and Collette and their sons, Joey, Sean, Connor and Declan – run a herd of 150 Holstein x British Friesian cows on their farm in Ballybar Lower.

The herd produces milk all the year round, yielding an average of 6,600L/cow, with milk sold to Glanbia. The family farms 300ac where they also run a beef enterprise and grow barley and beet.

High cell counts

One of the greatest challenges to the dairying side of their business had been high cells counts – not only were they failing to capture the highest price for their milk, but they were losing income as a result of withholding sale milk from cows they had treated with antibiotics.

Nicholas said:

“We knew if we didn’t sort this problem out without antibiotics it was going to be an even bigger problem in the future, because there is pressure on us all to use less.”

A recognition that udder health and performance were not where they should be spurred him on to try a different strategy.

Central to this was Maycillin, an udder health system manufactured by Mayo Healthcare, which releases allicin and does not require a milk withdrawal period.


The Ryans gave Maycillin to cows with the highest cell counts. The herd SCC is now more than half the level it was previously.

“It rarely goes above 200,000 cells/ml,’’ said Nicholas.

“We have to get better at farming without antibiotics, so I am pleased that we have made a start,’’ he concluded.

More information

For more information on Maycillin, go to or contact your area representative using the numbers below.

Southeast: Ray Delaney085 8621963
Connaught: Leo Forkan085 8531527
Midlands: Mellisa Kelly085 8612488
East: Gerry Hughes085 8878084
Southwest: Pat Corbett085 8599696
Northern Ireland: Roland Shannon0044 (0) 7575 14421