Milking

Teat disinfectant spray on teats

During the milking process in any dairy, there are a substantial number of factors which can influence the risk of mastitis infections.

The Countdown Farm Guidelines and the supporting Countdown Technotes describe these factors very well, and also how to measure and assess them.

It takes a reasonable amount of time to conduct all the necessary assessments during milking, and it may not always be possible to complete all the tasks in one milking – especially if it is a relatively short milking or there is only one adviser conducting the assessment.

Read more: Keep an open mind

Automatic cup remover hanging on removal

Recent milking time visits to a number of different dairy sheds have reminded me that “normal” means different things to different people.

Cup removal is always an interesting part of the milking routine to observe – in both manual and automatic systems.

Read more: It is normal, isn't it?

air admission hole in claw body

It is only a tiny part of your milking plant, and it can sometimes be very unobtrusively placed, but it is critical to the ability of your milking plant to function correctly.

Naturally this tiny part of your plant is the claw air admission hole.

Read more: It is tiny, but it is important

Cups crawling up teats

Russell and Stuart both manage family farms milking about 450 cows in a rotary dairy without automatic cup removers.

In the couple of months leading up to and just after Christmas, both farms had seen a rise in Bulk Milk Cell Count (BMCC) and both had experienced an increased number of clinical cases of mastitis.

Interestingly, both Russell and Stuart had a suspicion that something about their milking process was influencing their risk of mastitis.

Read more: Cows, machines & people - managing the risk of mastitis

MIlking cluster

Recently, I dropped one of the family cars into the service centre in the morning for what I expected to be a normal routine service.

It was a big surprise a couple of hours later to sit listening on one end of the phone as the mechanic ran through a list of items on the car that needed attention.

But my mood seriously worsened when he told me the total estimated cost!

Read more: What is the price of risk?

Cows being milked

"We work really hard to get the cell count down, and then it just takes off on us, and we don't seem to be able to stop it."

The frustration was clearly obvious at a meeting with the farm team on this 300 cow farm.

"How can it spread so quickly?"

Read more: The power of numbers

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