20 October 1995

Keeping teats sore-free

KEEPING cows teats soft, supple and free from sores can depend on adjusting teat dip formulations regularly.

This was the message from Martin Shearn, Institute of Animal Health, Compton.

"When the dip is applied properly but still cows suffer teat sores, the level of emollient needs changing," he said. "The same teat dip can be used, but with the formulation adjusted."

To ensure the best value for money from teat dip, Mr Shearn advised teats were as clean as possible. This could be helped by clean, dry bedding and good cow tracks to keep cows clean entering the parlour, and well-maintained milking machines.

Following these practices, and using a good disinfectant with sufficient emollient such as Lanolin, glycerin or sorbitol, would keep teats in good condition, he claimed. But emollient levels varied in different products and, as some were supplied without emollients, he advised checking the product label.

Emollient levels would need to vary according to management and weather.

Although a 5% emollient may be sufficient for a herd during the summer, content may need to be increased in winter, he claimed.