Avoid mastitis

10 January 1997

Avoid mastitis

with teat care

DAIRY cows under two weeks calved, or at peak lactation need extra teat care and bedding to reduce the risk of E coli-type environmental mastitis.

Hants vet Jonathan Harwood says the most serious mastitis is environmental caused by E coli, and advises producers to prevent exposure of the teat end to these mastitis bugs.

That means preparing teats carefully in the parlour and dipping after milking. When cows leave the parlour they must loaf for 20-30min to allow teat ends to close. "To prevent cows lying in the yard during this time provide them with food and water." When there are cold winds, he advises treating chapped teats with cream for the cracks can harbour bugs.

In winter, bed cubicles frequently and keep the step clean, says Mr Harwood. Loose yards should be bedded every day and sometimes twice a day, and cleaned out every six weeks. The bedding straw must be dry and is best kept under cover, he adds. Also ensure buildings have good air circulation.

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