What is the most common question dairy farmers ask when I visit their farm. I get mastitis but it’s only “environmental”.
It’s not rocket science “KEEP the COWS CLEAN “It takes a lot of work keeping dairy cows clean. Not only does it take a lot of work, but it is also very important. So how do you do it?
If your cows live in a cubicle house. It has open feed areas, various locations for fresh drinking water and stalls for the cows to rest. There is plenty of room for the cows to move around and come and go as they please, choosing which stall they want to use. You might be surprised to know that some cows prefer the same stall every day. They will even go as far as to push another cow out of the stall.
Keep the bedding fresh and dry this should be done daily every milking, remove any manure and re-bed and fill the cow stalls. In addition to the new bedding, clean the shed on a daily basis. “The old twice a day chore is gone”
If you milk cows three times a day. While they are being milked, clean the shed and alley’s. All the manure should be removed from around the corners, edges and around water troughs if you see manure remove it! don’t walk past. It’s just not the case of sitting on a tractor and moving the manure into the lagoon, or taking scrappers for granted.
The cubicles in which the cows rest should all be hand-raked. All manure has to be removed and the bedding levelled out to keep the area comfortable and clean,
So why do you do this? Importantly, it is better for their health. If your cow’s feet are covered in manure, she lies down when she gets up she rubs her feet on her teats and covers them in pathogens.
Cows need to have a dry and clean environment to protect them from illnesses like mastitis, a painful inflammation. To try to help them avoid mastitis you have to work very hard to make sure our cows have the cleanest environment possible.
Take a look at your cows and ask yourself are my cows as clean as they can be?