During cold weather, it is vital to be aware of the potential for frostbite on teats of dairy cows and heifers.
Frozen or frostbit teats generally occur when wet teats are exposed to bitterly cold conditions. According to University of Wisconsin milk-quality experts, risk factors for developing this syndrome include:
- Outwintering of lactating cows.
- Failure to provide dry bedding sources.
- Windbreaks and long walkways that cows with wet teats have to traverse after being milked.
- Another high-risk situation for heifers is the presence of a “sucker” heifer within an outwintered group.
There can be some confusion regarding diagnosis of frostbite. The UW Milk Quality team has made photos of frostbite available to help you make a proper diagnosis.
Source: UW Milk Quality