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The aim of this study was to examine influences of housing conditions on the udder health in 80 German dairy herds with a herd size between 100 and 1100 cows. Data were collected using a standardized questionnaire for the farm manager and a farm visit using a standardized data capture form on hygiene and management. The somatic cell counts of all lactating cows on each farm were collected monthly by the local dairy herd improvement association and analysed to assess udder health status. Factor analysis was used to analyse the variables describing the environmental hygiene. The values derived for the extracted components were classified into good, moderate and poor. The association of the categories was then analysed for their influence on log somatic cell count of the current month (CMSCC) and the year before the farm visit (YASCC) by a one-way anova. In comparison to other housing systems, free stalls with cubicles had the lowest geometric mean somatic cell count. Three components were derived from the factor analysis. Of those, acceptance of the cubicles by the cows and barn hygiene were determined as components influencing the CMSCC and YASCC significantly, while the association of hygiene of the milking parlour with somatic cell counts was only significant for YASCC. The results of the study show that the cow comfort and housing hygiene have a substantial impact on milk quality and should therefore become the focus of further research on the farm management practices.