Drying Off Dairy Cows Early? Here's Some Things You Should Consider
If you're a dairy farmer, you'll know that drying off is an important time to get on top of your herd's mastitis control. However, making sure that you have all factors covered when you do decide to dry your cows can determine your results for the rest of the year.
We've put together a helpful checklist to make sure you've got everything covered. You're welcome.
- Plenty of space. When drying off your cows it is imperative that they are given plenty of room to be comfortable.
- Good hygiene. Bedding and cleaning cows out frequently is so important for minimising the risk of infection during this period. We recommend using a disinfectant with their bedding such as Ultra Dri which acts as a 'drying-up' powder for easy daily sanitising.
- Close monitoring. Prevention is always better than cure, so staying on top of your regular checks is critical during this time. Make sure that you check for any problem areas in your cows skin, claws and udders and deal with an issues that appear quickly. Using a Hoof-Spray system, Repiderma and Hoof-Fit Gel can not only get rid of problems like outbreaks of Digital Dermatitis but will prevent them from coming back in the future.
- Nutrition. Calculating the drying off period with the right diet can be tricky, so we'd recommend getting your vet involved for this bit. Tracking your cows Body Condition Score during the drying-off period will make sure that you are in control.
- Stop completely. When you do decide to stop milking, stop instantly and do not prolong this stage.
- You can never be too clean. When administering teat sealant and any other products make sure that you keep up the highest level of biosecurity. Using a boot dip on your farm is another great way to instantly decrease your risk of cross-contamination.
- Pick carefully. Only infected cows need antibiotics and a large amount of ailments can be fixed with a skin protection spray like Repiderma.
Remember, it is important to uphold the best possible level of cleanliness when you are drying off your cows. The greatest risk of infection comes in the first week after drying off and in the three weeks before calving.
Got any questions? Give our helpful team a call on 01258 818239.