Spring Turnout !

Spring Turnout.

The cleanliness of the cow’s environment is closely linked to levels of environmental mastitis. Manure and dirt are a source of mastitis infection. If cows have to walk through a dirty environment then dirt will get splashed onto the udder, belly and tail. To avoid spreading environmental mastitis, a dairy cow’s coat and udder should be kept as clean as is reasonably practical. Cow comfort and welfare are also linked to cow cleanliness. The aim is to examine the main areas impacting on cow cleanliness and the steps that can be taken to promote cow cleanliness

How the cow is managed within her environment has a major impact on levels of environmental mastitis:
• Cows should be provided with a clean environment;
• Cow comfort and welfare should be optimised;
• Cows should not be rushed or stressed by inconsistent handling;
• Udders must be prepared carefully for milking;
• Every milker must adhere diligently to the agreed milking routine;
• Dry cow therapy is less important for the control of environmental mastitis than for the control of contagious mastitis, but is still an essential part of the overall mastitis control strategy

The following checklist contains common measures to promote cow cleanliness:
• Feed to avoid very loose dung which leads to dirtier cows;
• Install cow brushes to improve cow cleanliness;
• Avoid rushing cows when moving them;
• Group freshly calved cows separately;
• Avoid letting cows lie down for 20 minutes after milking to let teats close properly;
• Milk highest yielding cows first to reduce milk leakage;
• Milk cows with mastitis last.

At Grass
While most cleanliness problems are associated with winter housing and dirty collecting yards, somatic cell counts can remain high in the spring following turnout. You should continue to maintain cow and udder hygiene at grass through:
• Maintenance of roadways and gate-ways;
• Managing supplementary feeding to ensure that dung is not too loose;
• Using electric fences to exclude cows from heavily fouled areas;
• Avoidance of poaching around gateways and water troughs where possible.