It’s strange that for over 50 years we have been told in
order to improve milk quality, low cell counts and low bactoscan we need to milk
clean, dry, stimulated teats and yet these small factors are still not adhered
Reduced rates of clinical cases of mastitis in these low
cell count exceptional milk quality herds have several factors that do not vary
with the herd sizes or type of operations. Some of these dairies are small,
some are organic and some are large, but they all have management based on
producing quality milk.
It is really simple and common to all farms with excellent
milk quality, the farm adopts a policy and strives and wants to have low cell
count milk and they make sure all employees are working for the same goals.
It doesn’t cost a huge amount to be thorough and focus on
the small things.
1 Consistent cow handling to ensure clean, calm cows enter
the milking facility at every milking.
2 Consistent milking procedures and routines at every
milking regardless of who is milking. The goal is to have 10 to 12 seconds of
teat contact time during preparation followed by attaching units at 90 to 120
seconds after the teats are first touched.
Cows milked with a standardized milking routine, where
premilking preparation and timing were optimized, produced 5.5% more milk in
their lactations compared to cows milked without standardized routines. These
results were presented in a Danish study published in a Journal of Dairy
Consistent udder preparation will reduce the average milking
time. Cows with reduced time on unit will have better teat end and skin
condition and therefore they will have fewer bacteria on teats when units are
attached. The key factor to the new infection rate for mastitis is the number
of bacteria on teats when units are attached.
3 Dip all teats with a post milking dip as soon as possible
after milking. Have at least two-thirds or more of the complete teat covered with
post milking teat dip.
4 Have a monitoring program in place to ensure all the
operators are working to the same procedures. Have some method of communicating
how operators performed after every milking; filter sock cleanliness Constancy
is vital to capitalize on both milk quality and milk quantity.
5 Make sure cows are lying on clean dry bedding comfortable for
lactating and dry cows. Inexorable attention to bedding management is critical.
6 Move towards Dynamic milking machine testing, ensure
rubbers are not worn or perished, settings on parlour are accurate and correct.
Ask questions about teat condition and unit on time.