• "Dribble" Finish

    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?

  • Cows, machines & people - managing the risk of mastitis

    Cups crawling up teats

    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.

  • 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.

  • Something has changed

    “Something has changed. I just can’t figure it out – it’s not wet, and there is no mud.”

    This was Jeff’s first comment when I returned his phone call couple of months ago.

    Jeff* and his wife Karen* milk 650 cows through a 60 stand rotary dairy in Northern Victoria.

    They had done a lot of work to get their mastitis to where they were now reasonably comfortable – Bulk Milk Cell Count (BMCC) sat between 100,000 and 110,000 cells/ml, and clinical case rates of mastitis were well below the Countdown trigger point of 2 cases per 100 milking cows per month.

  • Sometimes, things can change!

    “I don’t know what it is, but something isn’t quite right!”

    Tim* milks about 450 cows in a rotary dairy in North East Victoria, and it had been some years since we had worked on mastitis control with him.

    “The cell count is still good, but we are now getting too many cases of clinical mastitis, and I reckon the teat ends don’t look as good as they were when you were last here.”

  • What is the price of risk?

    MIlking cluster

    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!

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