The objective of this study was to visualize, in a novel way, the morphological characteristics of bovine teats to gain a better understanding of the detailed teat morphology. We applied silicone casting and 3D digital imaging in order to obtain a more detailed image of the teat structures than that seen in previous studies. Teat samples from 65 dairy cows over 12 months of age were obtained from cows slaughtered at an abattoir. The teats were classified according to the teat condition scoring used in Finland and the lengths of the teat canals were measured. Silicone molds were made from the external teat surface surrounding the teat orifice and from the internal surface of the teat consisting of the papillary duct, Fürstenberg's rosette, and distal part of the teat cistern. The external and internal surface molds of 35 cows were scanned with a 3D laser scanner. The molds and the digital 3D models were used to evaluate internal and external teat surface morphology. A number of measurements were taken from the silicone molds. The 3D models reproduced the morphology of the teats accurately with high repeatability. Breed didn't correlate with the teat classification score. The rosette was found to have significant variation in its size and number of mucosal folds. The internal surface morphology of the rosette did not correlate with the external surface morphology of the teat implying that it is relatively independent of milking parameters that may impact the teat canal and the external surface of the teat.
Keywords: 3D; Fürstenberg's rosette; bovine teat morphology; orientation patch count (OPC).
© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.