Managing mastitis

Agriculture Victoria has some tips on dealing with mastitis. Photo by Geoff Adams

With the recent weather conditions in some parts of Victoria, many dairy farmers may have cows on wet paddocks and could be moving them along muddy and damaged laneways.

These conditions could increase the risk of mastitis.

To assist in managing the risk of mastitis in these conditions, simple changes can be applied to manage this risk.

Wash and dry all teats before cups go on:

  • Use a low-pressure, high-volume water supply combined with manual cleaning. Ensure milkers wear gloves.
  • Dry with paper towels.

Strip cows every day to detect, treat and isolate clinical cases:

  • Make daily quarter stripping a routine.
  • Always wear gloves and avoid getting milk on your hands.
  • Check clinical cases at next milking.

Cover all surfaces of all four teats with teat disinfectant:

  • Healthier skin is easier to keep clean.

Try and keep teats clean for at least an hour after the cows leave the milking shed:

  • Keep the area immediately outside the dairy exit as clean as possible.
  • Have feed available when cows leave the shed. This could be on a feedpad. Ensure this area can be scrapped to reduce mud and manure build-up.

Talk to your milk quality adviser, veterinarian or dairy factory field officer to adapt these steps to your farm situation.

For more information on mastitis, go to the Dairy Australia website.

By Richard Smith, Agriculture Victoria, Tatura