Keeping udders and teats clean helps reduce the risk of mastitis due to environmental bacteria. Areas where cows stand and lie down should be kept clear of manure and dirt to help keep udders and teats as clean as possible.
Regular cleaning and maintenance of high use areas will help make the task less difficult.
Lactating cows in dirty areas
If this is unavoidable, ensure that:
- Teats are thoroughly washed and dried before attaching teat cups during milking. See Guideline 5.3 for more on pre-milking preparation of teats.
- Teats are thoroughly sprayed with teat disinfectant after milking.
Dry cows in dirty areas
If this is (likely to be) unavoidable, ensure that:
- All cows receive antibiotic dry cow treatment and/or internal teat sealants at dry off. See Guideline 14.4 for different dry cow strategies.
- Cows’ teats are sprayed regularly e.g. 2-3 times weekly, with teat disinfectant, especially in last month before calving. This will help reduce numbers of bacteria on the teats and reduce risk of mastitis after calving. See Guideline 19.1 for more on spraying teats in the dry period.
26.1 - Clean and renovate areas around troughs, gates, races and entrance to the dairy area
Adequate drainage and proper formation of farm races will reduce problems with dirty teats and udders.
Consider concreting high traffic areas which regularly become muddy. Don’t allow cows to enter streams, rivers, ponds, or other waterways to drink as this contravenes the Dairying and Clean Streams Accord.
See DairyNZ Farmfacts - Environment for more on design and maintenance of infrastructure.