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.
“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!!
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.
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.
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
The 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!