Getting cubicles ready for winter

If your cows have been out for the summer, now is the time to think about your cubicle management, before they come back in for the winter.

Good cow preparation starts in the barn and cubicles. If the cubicles and barn are clean and dry, it reduces the level of environmental pathogens and makes sure the cows come to the parlour cleaner and healthier.

Making sure passage ways are scraped regularly not only keeps cows’ udders clean but also reduces foot issues and lameness within the herd.

Ways in which you can ensure your cows are dry and healthy over winter is to make sure good quality bedding and conditioner is used and to make sure passage ways are scraped at regular intervals.

Make sure your bedding is of good quality, combined with a good quality bedding conditioner such as Zorbisan Active. This absorbs moisture in-between bedding up times, and unlike lime and other well-known conditioners, will dry out again so it doesn’t cake onto cow’s teats or the beds, proving difficult to remove.

Having dry, disinfected cubicles with absorbed moisture makes an area an unsuitable environment for mastitis causing bacteria to live and breed. Zorbisan Active has been proven to kill environmental mastitis bugs, including Strep Uberis, Klebsiella and Ecoli, and is specially formulated to be kind to the cows teats, unlike lime which can burn and sting on contact.

As well as making sure that the bedding is dry, we also recommend a good quality teat dip is used. This makes sure the teats are in prime condition, offering the cows maximum protection whilst in for the winter.

Daily scraping with a tractor is often not enough to keep cubicles clean and dry. We recommend that an automatic scraping system is installed, so the passage ways are cleaned every few hours. This means there is minimal build-up of slurry for cows to walk through and they are not disturbed in the same way as a tractor driving down.

Automation of this daily chore also means your time is released for other duties on the farm. South West Dairy Services Ltd offers a variety of scraper and slurry handling options, which we tailor to suit your requirements. With the continuing economic pressures on farming, minimising the chance of mastitis and loss of milk to a minimum is essential. Therefore making sure these crucial elements of herd and barn management are not compromised is as important as ever.

For more information on bedding, scrapers and maximising your herds potential, please call South West Dairy Services Ltd on 01884 839393

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