Teat spray

  • An unintended consequence

    Teat disinfectant on teats after spraying

    Cameron* was feeling comfortable.

    The expansion plan for the family farm had gone well. He had secured a long term lease on the block next door, added another 50 cows (with plans for more), extended the dairy shed, and employed a labour unit to assist the family on the farm.

    The new season had started well. It had been a wet spring, but there had been very little clinical mastitis during calving and the spring, and the farm’s Bulk Milk Cell Count (BMCC) had sat comfortably below 150,000 cells/ml all that time.

    But as they moved into summer, things started to come unstuck.

  • Iodine Price Rise

    An issue on the horizon for many dairy farmers is an expected rise in the cost of iodine teat disinfectants due to a rise in the cost of raw materials.

    Whilst the extent of the price rise may be variable, some manufacturers have indicated that the price of a "ready-to-use" iodine based teat disinfectant may rise by about $70 for a 200 litre container over the next few months.

    This would increase the cost of teat disinfection by about 0.7 cents/dose - for a 300 cow herd, that is about $2 per milking.

    What are the options or alternatives?

  • Is it too hot in the "kitchen"?

    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.

  • Keep an open mind

    Teat disinfectant spray on teats

    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.

  • Managing mastitis risk in the dairy

    On a typical dairy farm, the milking process contributes about 60% of the risk of mastitis on that farm.


    Countdown has given us a great set of definitions for best practice, and Dairy Focus has now added the ability to precisely assess and measure each element of mastitis risk in the dairy and then combine them into an Overall Mastitis Risk Score.

  • Protect your teat spray nozzles

    Protected teat spray nozzle

    Teat disinfection is the most important action in the dairy during milking for mastitis control - yet it is also one of the hardest actions in which to achieve best practice.

    Best practice is 100% coverage of 100% of teats, which generally requires a minimum of 20 ml of teat disinfectant (teat spray) through a well-adjusted nozzle which gives a good “splat” pattern.

    Spray nozzles often get knocked around in the dairy from hitting steel and concrete and as the nozzle wears away, it affects the spray pattern produced by the gun, making it dificult to achieve good coverage of teats.

    Replacing the guns is an expensive exercise, so here’s a tip to help preserve those nozzles.

  • Protect your teat spray nozzles

    Teat spray nozzle protected with rubber

    Teat spray nozzles can lead a hard life!

    The plastic ends do not cope well with concrete in dairies, they can wear rapidly, and replacement spray guns are not cheap!

    A simple method of protecting nozzles with rubber from an old used liner can save the nozzle from the ravages of life in a dairy, significantly extending their lifespan.

    Read more: Protect your teat spray nozzles

  • Remnants that count

    Teat spray on teats

    Dictionaries variously describe the meaning of the word “residue” as being a “remnant”, or “something which remains after a part is removed”.

    Prior to July 1945, no human had radioactive residues due to nuclear weapons.

    However, the situation now is dramatically different - every human on earth has some level of residue in their body from the fallout of nuclear weapons.

  • Teat skin condition suffers from weather

    Dirty teats

    Several of our dairy regions are now very wet, and this cold, wet, & often windy weather can quickly cause teat skin to become dry, cracked and chapped.

    Dry, cracked teat skin significantly increases the risk of mastitis due to the cracks in the skin harbouring more bacteria, and it also causes significant changes in milking machine performance.

    Once teats are coated with dried mud, the teat spray cannot get through to kill the bugs in the cracked skin underneath, and neither does the emollient get through to lubricate and moisturise the skin properly. Thus the skin just dries out more and more, and a self-worsening cycle has begun!

  • The power of numbers

    Cows being milked

    "We work really hard to get the cell count down, and then it just takes off on us, and we don't seem to be able to stop it."

    The frustration was clearly obvious at a meeting with the farm team on this 300 cow farm.

    "How can it spread so quickly?"

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