Glanbia Ingredients Ireland - Best practice Dry Off Routine (Video)
Drying off cows is one of the most important tasks of the year. The dry cow period provides an important opportunity to improve cure rates of mastitis and lower somatic cell count in the next lactation. Watch our two minute video presented by Glanbia Vet, Shane McElroy on best practise Dry Off Routine.
Shane highlights how “easy to introduce bacteria into the udder at drying-off if the teats are not disinfected and sterilised”.
His key tips for dairy farmers are:
- Dry off cows abruptly, as soon as production reaches 9 litres per day;
- Dry off cows in small batches (e.g. one row of the parlour at a time);
- Don’t leave cows in roadways or yards after drying off, leave in an area that is clean for lying on.
He summarised the correct drying off procedure as follows:
- During milking, mark and draft out the group of cows to be dried off.
- Finish milking, clean out the parlour and organise tubes plus disinfection / sterilising equipment.
- Use a new pair of gloves and keep them clean while drying off cows.
- Mark the cows again with a different colour to indicate that they are now being treated; it is important to do this before they are treated.
- Disinfect the teats with teat dip or spray and then wipe off.
- Then sterilise the teat ends with cotton wool and meths, or medicated wipes.
- Administer the antibiotic tube and massage into the udder.
- When inserting the sealer, pinch the base of the teat so that the sealer remains in the teat canal and do not massage up into the udder.
- Record the treatment details: animal numbers, date, product used and withholding time.
- In other to identify the most effective antibiotics for their herd, Shane McElroy advised farmers to use the GII Milk Culturing Service.
Finally, the Glanbia Vet also had important advice for farmers themselves. “Don’t dry off cows on an empty stomach - have some breakfast first!”
First Published 18 November 2016