Milking

Flies annoying cows in the dairy
Flies annoying cows in the dairy

Paul* had made some small but significant changes to both his milking equipment and milking routine after our initial visit had exposed some mastitis risks that he had been unaware of.

A change to a different liner, a small change to system vacuum and a change in the milking routine to ensure that teats were disinfected much sooner after cup removal in his 36-a-side herringbone were the key changes that had been made.

Four weeks after he had made those changes, it was time for a re-assessment to ensure that the changes had actually resulted in a reduced risk of mastitis infections.

Drum of teat spray out in the sun
Drum of teat spray out in the sun

Summer is almost here, and there will be some very hot days as well as consistently high temperatures coming, especially in some of our warmer regions.

Unfortunately, heat and sunlight can be an enemy of many products which are used on farms.

One of the more interesting cases is the effect of heat and sunlight on teat disinfectants.

Many of our teat disinfectant products have some quite interesting storage warnings on their labels.

We regularly find that our milking time and farm visits are quite illuminating.

Not only do they allow us to demonstrate and reinforce procedures that have been discussed both at training courses and on the farm, they also allow us to see firsthand what is actually happening on the farm and in the dairy.

Sometimes things aren’t what you think they are going to be, and I was reminded of this at a recent milking time visit.

Clinical case of mastitis marked with paint
Clinical case of mastitis marked with paint

Coffee and a slice on a Saturday morning is a bit of ritual for us these days, and my coffee had just arrived when John entered the café.

I have never been to John’s farm, but I had met him a few times over the years at various industry seminars and meetings.

“Just the person I wanted to talk to! You’ll be able to tell me what to do”, John announced.

As I stood up to greet John, our chocolate brownie slice arrived at the table and my wife started to cut it in half (there is way too much sugar in a whole brownie!), whilst John’s wife made her way to a vacant table.

“I’ve been using [Product X] for years to treat my mastitis, and it’s not working any more – what should I be using?”

Dribble finish to milking visible in claw bowl
Dribble finish to milking visible in claw bowl

The accompanying image looks simple enough – in fact, it is a common sight during milking in many Australian dairies.

Taken just before cups off, the image shows a narrow stream of milk dribbling down the wall of the claw bowl from each of the two quarters that we can see.

This clearly shows what we call a “dribble finish” to milking, and a dribble finish is NOT normal!!

How does this come about?

Belt mounted paper towel holster
Belt mounted paper towel holster

We saw this great idea for a paper towel holster/dispenser last week.

Paper towels are always at the ready if needed - every teat that gets washed, gets dried!

It is just one of the protocols put in place that are really making a difference on this farm.

Want more hints on washing & drying?

Here's a link for some hints on easy washing & drying - "Wash & Dry" >>> 

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