Image to illustrate udder hygieneOptimal udder health is one, if not the most important, aspect of clean milk and consistent production of high quality milk. The mammary gland is surrounded daily by potentially harmful bacteria which can seriously affect milk quality, yields, and the health of the cow. Furthermore in the event of bacterial entry into the teats and udders there may be associated losses in discarded milk, veterinary and treatment costs, management time and possible culling in the most severe cases.
As the costs are high it is widely accepted that prevention is better than cure. For industry best practice a formal plan is essential and the 6 Point plan is recommended as a very good minimum practice.
- Always use a recognised method of teat preparation before milking to remove bacteria and soiling.
- Test and service the milking machine regularly.
- Treat and record ALL clinical cases of mastitis.
- Cull chronic cases.
- Practice dry cow therapy.
- Always use a teat disinfectant on all cows directly after milking