The ability of teat spraying to prevent mastitis depends on:
- Teat coverage achieved at each milking.
- Correct measuring and mixing of the teat spray solution.
Teat spraying is wasteful when coverage is poor or the product is made up incorrectly. Regular checks of the equipment and mixing process will help avoid costly mistakes. These checks include:
- Check spray nozzles are not blocked.
- Check tubes for cracks or leaks. Stains on the floor under the spray line are a good indicator.
- Check spray units for dirt, damage or corrosion.
- Check recipe for mixing is being followed correctly.
- Check for sediment in the bottom of the stock container of teat disinfectant, or the spray mix being used on cows’ teats.
24.1 - Clean and check teat spraying equipment
Work out a regular maintenance plan for teat spray equipment.
Make sure that these tasks are allocated to someone and they set a regular time to do it, for example whenever liners are changed, teat sprays should also be checked.
24.2 - Review teat disinfectant and method of application to be used
Factors to consider include:
- Previous experience on the property (including hand skin reactions, teat skin condition).
- Published effectiveness of products.
- How much you want to be able to see the teat disinfectant on the teats after application - some products are coloured and easier to see.
- Price (taking account of dilution - larger volume products may not be as cost-effective as smaller volumes of stock solution when diluted to the recommended concentrations).
- How the teat disinfectant is to be applied to teats - it is easier to do a better job of covering teats by manual rather than auto spraying. Auto spraying typically uses twice as much disinfectant to get the same teat coverage as manual spraying.
See Guideline 7 for more on selecting the most appropriate product for your herd.