During the milking process in any dairy, there are a substantial number of factors which can influence the risk of mastitis infections.
The Countdown Farm Guidelines and the supporting Countdown Technotes describe these factors very well, and also how to measure and assess them.
It takes a reasonable amount of time to conduct all the necessary assessments during milking, and it may not always be possible to complete all the tasks in one milking – especially if it is a relatively short milking or there is only one adviser conducting the assessment.
Recent milking time visits to a number of different dairy sheds have reminded me that “normal” means different things to different people.
Cup removal is always an interesting part of the milking routine to observe – in both manual and automatic systems.
It is only a tiny part of your milking plant, and it can sometimes be very unobtrusively placed, but it is critical to the ability of your milking plant to function correctly.
Naturally this tiny part of your plant is the claw air admission hole.
Russell and Stuart both manage family farms milking about 450 cows in a rotary dairy without automatic cup removers.
In the couple of months leading up to and just after Christmas, both farms had seen a rise in Bulk Milk Cell Count (BMCC) and both had experienced an increased number of clinical cases of mastitis.
Interestingly, both Russell and Stuart had a suspicion that something about their milking process was influencing their risk of mastitis.
Recently, I dropped one of the family cars into the service centre in the morning for what I expected to be a normal routine service.
It was a big surprise a couple of hours later to sit listening on one end of the phone as the mechanic ran through a list of items on the car that needed attention.
But my mood seriously worsened when he told me the total estimated cost!