12 May 2018
Consistency Needn’t Be Costly
A key take-home from Dr Gordie Jones at the recent series of Dairy meetings run by AHDB Dairy, was the need to have consistency wherever possible. SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures), are one way that Dr Jones manages this on his own farm and something which he advocates on others. In this article, we will look at how teat preparation pre-milking can benefit from having a robust SOP that works, whilst critically addressing common shortfalls in this area.
Cows arriving in the parlour present teats in a variety of conditions. If teats look clean, a dry wipe is often seen as acceptable and assuming fore-stripping takes place, clusters are attached relatively quickly. This SOP can work but areas to consider are firstly, the “invisible” pathogens on the teat body and end which are not necessarily visible. Secondly, residue issues where a very viscous post-dip product from the last milking represents a risk to milk quality if left on the teat. And finally, the risks of over-milking from applying clusters before stimulation has taken effect.
Where a pre-milking teat product is used, the most common application system is through a spray line and whilst convenient and familiar, there can be issues such as:
- It takes longer than generally accepted to spray correctly. Each teat should be sprayed individually which takes time
- Typical rates of application are in the region of 15-20ml/cow which is higher than the widely accepted 12-15ml/cow
- Many products used pre-milking are a combined pre/post iodine product. Iodine takes a full 5 minutes to kill all pathogens effectively which means that a pre-post product should be left on the teat for 5 minutes before attaching the clusters
- Teats should wherever possible be kept dry as a film of moisture is a transmission route for bacteria. This is equally important to note where teat scrubbers (brushes) are used as a wet teat at “cluster-on” can affect the levels of bacteria and muck going into the liner, onto the next cow and ultimately into the tank
To make sure that we are stimulating the cow, enabling the lifting of obvious and “hidden” contamination as well as disinfecting the teat and maintaining teat condition, it is necessary to have a robust SOP that is simple, repeatable and effective. This is where we see the growing popularity of automatic foaming systems having an effect.
Keno™pure and PureFoamer
The Kenopure PureFoamer system is designed to mitigate the issues listed above and also offers dairies a simple, cost-effective and reliable option to traditional systems.
Easily fitted into existing parlours in typically less than 3 hours and at minimal cost, the system starts working at the next milking to remove dirt and muck, disinfect teats fast, improve teat condition and speed up milking.
PureFoamer Farmer Experience
Denny Mountjoy is Head Herdsman at West Bodden Farm near Shepton Mallet, Somerset. The farm runs 360 Holstein cows calving all year-round and milking through a modern herringbone parlour. Denny was keen to address a few issues in the previous pre-milking routine. He commented:
“We fore-milk and used-to spray iodine through a line but we were running at a higher than acceptable mastitis rate. We also struggled with poor teat condition with some cracked and dry teats. There was also a wide variation in milk-out times between cows in a row which slowed down milking and felt inconsistent”
Denny spoke with their vet Owain Jenkins from Delaware veterinary group, who had seen the Cotswold PureFoamer system in operation on some other client’s farms and recommended it to Denny as part of a “holistic’ approach to making small but impactful changes to the whole system. He said:
“On Owain’s recommendation we contacted Pearce Dairy and they supplied the system and product and installed it free of charge which was invaluable to us. After installation last Autumn we saw a massive 77% drop in our mastitis rate and the incidence has remained that low. We have also seen a big improvement in teat condition”.
The Cotswold PureFoamer is designed to run exclusively with Keno™pure Foaming teat dip. Keno™pure contains a fast-acting Lactic Acid disinfectant that kills all pathogens on the teat however it is the surfactants that allow a thorough lifting of dirt and muck that wipe away easily using paper towels. The contribution of the surfactants cannot be underestimated and is what differentiates Keno™pure from other foaming dips which can be up to 5-10 pence per cow cheaper each year, but do not contain surfactants and therefore provide no cleaning capability. Denny added:
“What has been really noticeable has been the consistency. It does take longer to prepare cows before attaching clusters but each row milks-out more evenly and that extra preparation time is easily regained. The team find the SOP easy to follow and the whole process is smoother. Milking seems to take less time now and without the spray line coils, the parlour is less cluttered!”
The PureFoamer system as well as a whole-farm hygiene solutions offering, backed up by a team of Dairy Specialists, is available from Pearce Dairy.