Going back to basics

A recent farm visit the Dairy farmer was complaining about elevated somatic cell counts long-suffering to the fact that it was never going to change on his farm.

This evaluation was conducted on one farm. Each farm is diverse with different procedures.

Why have you never had consistently low somatic cell count (SCC)? You tried everything to bring your SCC down.

You asked consultants to look at your records and facilities. You use bucket fulls of hydrated lime, and the most expensive sanitizing solutions. You bed with sawdust. During the summer months the cows are clean, yet the SCC is on the margin of a huge deduction.

You have changed teat dips, changed your prepping procedure, you started stripping every cow. You can spend a shed load off money to buy the best and nothing seems to help.

You have been told to stop spraying the floors while cows were in the parlour, still no change. It comes to a point where you think this is as good as it gets so have you given up. What changed? It’s pretty simple start with the basics. No water. At all. Wash your hands as needed, and if a cow literally poops directly on you, you spray it or scrape it away. But while cows are in the parlour, don’t hose anything.

For the first few days you might have a panic attack. Everything is dirty, and it might drive you crazy.

You might find that you are drier and cleaner. If you see a particularly large clump of manure right where you want to put my hand, use a dirty milking towel to clean it off.

The best part? It took a while for the SCC to drop, but it eventually did. The better part? You treat a lot less mastitis. We’ve always talked about how water is the perfect carrier for bacteria never wash units or the walk ways while the cows are in the parlour

Yet most farms I go to still spray water around the cows before after and even during milking

The milkers are wet through after the milking. take a look at yourself are you soaking wet ?

The easy response is we have done it like this for years, has it worked?

It’s a definite NO.