Healthy teat skin is easier to keep clean, minimises preparation before milking, and minimises the risk of new infections occurring.
Rough or damaged teat skin and teat sores provide sites for bacteria to become lodged, and multiply. Cracks and teat sores are also painful; this leads to poor cow behaviour during milking, and poor milk let-down.
Exposure to mud and water, faulty milking machines, unhygienic milking practices, and infectious organisms will have a detrimental effect on teat skin condition.
Guideline 9 provides practical information on:
- Assessing teat condition
- Images of different teat abnormalities
- Cleaning dirty teats
- Adding extra emollient when teat condition is poor
- Checking milking machine factors that impact teat condition
- When to seek professional advice.
Technote 9 provides technical information for farmers and advisers on:
- Physiology and defence mechanisms of the teat
- Causes of different teat skin conditions
- Assessing herd teat condition without examining every individual cow
- When to take action (trigger levels) for different teat abnormalities.