FACTORS affecting Somatic Cell Counts:

  1. Mastitis (Udder infection)
  2. Teat or udder injury
  3. Extent of mastitis in the halves
  4. Age
  5. Stage of laction
  6. Season
  7. Stress
  8. Day to day variation
  9. Technical factors
  10. Management factors

Somatic cells are primarily white blood cells. They are the first defense against bacteria that enter the teat canal. High somatic cell counts (SCCs) may indicate infection in the udder which affects milk production as well as the quality and quantity of dairy products into which milk is made (i.e. cheese).  Goat milk SCC works a little differently than in cows.  However it can still be useful as an indicator of udder health.  

Additional reading:

Recent Work on Milk Somatic Cell Counts in Goats

Guide to Managing Somatic Cell C0unts in Goats

Somatic Cell Counting in Goat Milk

A structural equation model for describing relationships between somatic cell score and milk yield in dairy goats

Conversion of Linear Scores to Somatic Cell Counts