Drying-off

  • Are your teat wipes OK?

    DryCowTherapyQ. "Do you need teat wipes with your dry cow?"

    A. "No, I've got plenty at home."

    This conversation always worries us!

  • Could your dry-off be better?

    For many Australian herds, dry-off time for the spring calving cows is now upon us.

    Drying-off is your single biggest opportunity to change the infection status of cows, and should probably be thought of not just as the end of one lactation, but actually as the start of the next lactation!

    Because it is a significant investment of money, as well as time & effort, it is probably worth thinking about what you do and how you do it.

  • Dairy Focus Dry-Off Strategy

    Drying-off is probably the single biggest opportunity to make a difference to mastitis control - it is the best chance to cure existing infections, and it is a very important part of preventing new infections, especially at calving.

    Drying-off is so important in terms of preventing new infections at calving, that at Dairy Focus we don't think of drying-off as then end of one lactation, but rather as the start of the next one!

    And if you get it wrong, or even not as good as it might be, you have to wait until the next dry-off for that cow, or group of cows, before you have another opportunity to achieve those goals.

    How can you maximise this opportunity? What, if anything, could change?

  • Dry-off choices

    Dry cow therapy

    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.

  • Five questions to consider before your next dry-off

    Drying-off for the spring calving cows is now fast approaching.

    Not only is drying-off a significant investment in both dollars and effort, it is usually the single biggest opportunity to make a difference to an individual cow’s infection status as well as the overall herd’s mastitis status, and it is also vitally important in helping to prevent new mastitis infections at calving.

  • Has your dry-off budget increased the risk of mastitis at calving?

    Given the difficult year and tight cash flows, treatment cost at drying-off has been closely scrutinised and some farms have needed to compromise in favour of cost.

    We should consider the impact of a compromise in terms of the two broad goals for dry-off treatment -
    * Treatment of existing infections
    * Prevention of new infections

    DryCowTherapyThe options at dry-off will have included antibiotic dry cow therapy, teat sealant (or a combination of both), blanket therapy, selective therapy, and different choices for different cows.

    The options chosen at drying-off will probably be the single biggest influence on the risk of mastitis at calving and in early lactation!

  • Has your dry-off increased the risk of mastitis at calving?

    Most of the spring calving cows have now been dried-off and will be enjoying their “annual holiday”.

    This is an ideal time to pause briefly, reflect on the dry-off and consider whether any adjustment to the calving management strategy might be beneficial.

    Given the difficulties of this season, all costs have been closely scrutinised and treatment cost at drying-off has been no exception.

    As a result, some farms have needed to compromise at dry-off in terms of cost.

  • Lessons from history

    Cows leaving the dairy

    The last significant in-season drop in the price of milk to suppliers was in 2008, and that doesn’t take a long memory to recall – it is hardly ancient history!

    The price drop in 2008 triggered a range of responses, some of which produced significant lessons which shouldn’t be forgotten.

    In terms of milk quality and mastitis control there are three lessons that should probably be recalled now to avoid history repeating itself.

  • Make the most of your investment!

    Dry cow therapy

    “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!!

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