Dairy Focus Blog
- Published: 15 April 2016
“We draft them off as we milk, then when we’ve finished milking the rest, we just bring them back on the platform and dry cow them.”
Wait a moment – did I hear that correctly? If so, you better stop right now and think about that!!
- Published: 15 March 2016
For many Australian herds, dry-off time for the spring calving cows is now approaching.
For each cow, drying-off is the single biggest opportunity to make a difference.
Not only is it the best chance to change the infection status of a cow, it is also the best chance to reduce the risk of mastitis at the subsequent calving.
- Published: 15 February 2016
During a recent farm visit, routine milking time testing of the milking machines in this dairy quickly showed that the system vacuum was at 39 kPa – very low for a highline swingover herringbone!
We immediately went looking for the dairy’s vacuum gauge, and after a brief Sherlock Holmes detective effort, we finally found the gauge way up high in the middle of a mass of pipework, facing towards one side of the herringbone.
- Published: 15 December 2015
Recently, I was returning home from two farm visits at which I discovered that both farms had been dutifully replacing their rubber teat cup liners every twelve months, just as they had done for many years.
While I was contemplating liner change intervals in the car, I passed a car on the side of the road accompanied by a police car with lights flashing.
Because the traffic was slow, I observed the driver and the policeman having what appeared to be an animated discussion whilst pointing to what were obviously very bald tyres on the car.
- Published: 16 November 2015
Once again, this could be a long, hot summer.
Farms expecting these conditions will now be making plans to help the cows cope with the heat, especially in those regions where temperatures and/or humidity can be extreme.
For those farms wanting more information, or to check their current strategy, Dairy Australia's Cool Cows website (www.coolcows.com.au) is a fabulous resource with a large amount of information to assist herds in managing heat stress.
- Published: 15 October 2015
“It” happened last year.
Actually, “it” has happened each year for a number of years.
So “it” will probably happen again this year!
What is “it”? Will you be affected by “it” this year?
Each year we see a number of farms where a mating synchrony program has been accompanied by an outbreak of clinical mastitis – either during the mating program, or immediately after.
- Published: 02 September 2015
Two intra-mammary mastitis treatments are currently either in very short supply or out of stock at both the manufacturers and wholesalers in Australia, and are expected to be for some time - some months at least, and experience tells us that these predicted dates are often very optimistic!
As is commonly the case, this happened with very little warning, which means that whatever stock is currently at your vet is likely to be all that is available and may not last long.
Once these stocks at your vet are exhausted, there will only be one once-a-day intra-mammary treatment available, so if your management revolves around once-a-day intra-mammary treatments, this would then become your only option.
- Published: 22 August 2015
In most areas, spring calving is well under way, so now is a good time to be very aware of how much mastitis is occurring at calving time, and to be ready to act if necessary.
Countdown has given us a set of "triggers" to indicate when there could be a significant problem which is likely to be worth looking into.
The trigger point for clinical cases of mastitis at calving is 5%.
For this purpose, the calving period for each cow (or heifer) is defined as two weeks before calving until two weeks after calving.
For every 100 cows that calve, if you have 5 or more cows that develop a clinical case in the first 2 weeks after they have calved, it is likely that there is a problem.
For an earlier indication, you can think of the trigger as 3 cases in every 50 cows that calve.
What if you find that you are exceeding that trigger? What should you do?