The aim is to shut down milk secretion and seal the teat canal as quickly as possible; this usually takes about two weeks. Most new infections occur in quarters where the teat canal has not sealed.
During the first two weeks after drying off, it is important to minimise the number of bacteria that contaminate the teats. Teat spraying after the last milking reduces the number of cow-associated mastitis bacteria present on the skin. To reduce the number of environmental mastitis bacteria, areas where cows lie should be as clean as possible, with no bare ground or heavy manure soiling.
Guideline 16 and Technote 16 provide practical and technical information on:
- Drying off cows producing less than 5 litres a day
- Reducing milk production by reducing feeding levels
- The importance of drying off abruptly and not skipping days or milkings
- Putting cows in clean areas after giving DCT
- Feeding maintenance diet for the first 7-14 days after dry off