We’re coming to that time of year when you have to make a decision about which alfalfa fields you’re going to rotate into another crop next spring. Even thought you might still get another cutting off those fields, now is the time to make a plan for killing those fields the right way.
The first decision that has to be made has to do with whether you want to kill the fields in the fall or the spring. Read the full story here.
Being able to treat mastitis effectively starts with understanding the pathogens involved with creating the infection. The only way to effectively develop a treat, no-treat protocol is through culturing milk samples from clinical mastitis cases.
In the last edition of this eight-part series on proper milking protocols, Jill Brester, herd veterinarian at Green Meadows Dairy near Elsi, Michigan provides an overview of how to take and culture a sample, then understand the bacteriological makeup of the infection. From there she can devise a treatment protocol to achieve a bacteriological cure and prevent recurring infections.
DHM How To: Identify Cows with Mastitis
In order to identify a cow with mastitis your milkers need to know what mastitis looks like and the protocols necessary to get the cow started toward a treatment plan. Record keeping is also critical to know if a cow is a chronic offender or just a one-time customer.
In the next-to-last edition of this milk quality series, Dr. Jill Brester, herd veterinarian at Green Meadows Dairy, explains the process she goes through with the dairy's milking staff to identify mastitic cows and get them entered into a pathogen identification protocol. She also explains the importance of record keeping to achieve progress across the herd in terms of milk quality.
DHM How To: Protect the Cow After Milking
Because bacteria can enter the teat end after milking, cows are vulnerable to new infection once they leave the parlor and go back into the general cow population. It is critically important to apply a post-dip solution to cover the teat end and help to prevent bacterial contamination.
In the sixth installment of this eight-part series on milking protocols, Roger Thomson, consultant with MQ-IQ consulting, provides insights into the protocols that need to be followed in order to ensure cows have the highest level of protection when they leave the parlor.
DHM How To: Remove Milking Units and Clean
The time to remove units is right when cows are done milking. Removal before all of the milk is out of the udder can lead to mastitis, while leaving units on too long can lead to teat end damage.
In the fifth installment of this eight-part video series, Roger Thomson, consultant with MQ-IQ consulting, offers advice on when and how to detach units, in addition to cleaning the units and parlor after the machines are removed.
DHM How To: Create an Optimal Milking Environment
Put a white bucket in the parlor where cows walk and they will find it immediately. It's not the bucket, it's the fact that it's something different than usual. That's why consistency in the parlor is so critical to keeping cows calm and comfortable.
In the fourth video in this milk quality series, Roger Thomson, milk quality consultant with MQ IQ Consulting, goes through what it means to create a consistent environment inside the parlor, and how that leads to better milk harvest.
DHM How To: Properly Attach Milking Units
In older parlors with older vacuum pumps, milkers had to be careful to minimize the amount of air being sucked through the claw as milking units were attached. Now, with better technology and more advanced, higher capacity vacuum systems, units can be attached much faster with less worry about air slippage.
In this third video within our milking procedure series, Roger Thomson, consultant with MQ IQ Consulting, discusses the proper procedure for attaching milking units and ensuring those units hang properly under the udder during milking.
DHM How To: Stimulate Milk Letdown
Parlor throughput is important, but milkers still need to take the time to allow the cow to let down her milk. Taking the time to stimulate the udder, then waiting for natural processes to go to work will allow for greater milk flow and better production, and enhanced milk quality.
In the second video of this milk quality series, Roger Thomson, DVM and consultant with MQ IQ Consulting, goes through the process that's required to allow the cow adequate time to let her milk down.
DHM How To: Prepare Your Cow for Milking
When cows enter the parlor, there can be a considerable amount of bacteria on their teats. Your milkers need to use the right protocols to apply a pre-dip solution that will help significantly reduce that bacterial load.
With this video we begin a series of eight milk quality tutorials. Our expert, Roger Thomson, DVM, a milk quality consultant with MQ-IQ Consulting, goes through each process of the milking system in detail to provide insights on how to harvest the highest quality milk possible.
This first video explores what is needed to get the cow ready for milking by applying an approved pre-dip solution. In the next video, Dr. Thomson will explain the advantages of proper stimulation to achieve adequate milk letdown.
Watch more videos, including how to get anovular cows pregnant and how to avoid injection site lesions, on the next page.