However a specific time should be set aside to review and plan mastitis management for the coming lactation.
It is also important to set aside time to:
•Review cow numbers and set in place a purchase strategy for buying new cows
•Arrange for the milking machine to be serviced and annual maintenance completed
•Carry out farm maintenance on areas that can reduce mastitis risk in the future.
Guideline 21 - Check mastitis records and examine udders. One of the most common ways of introducing the cow-associated mastitis bacteria into a herd is in the udders of cows that are brought in. Bacteria such as Staph. aureus and Strep. agalactiae can spread rapidly through a herd.
Guideline 22 - Conduct annual mastitis control activities and review achievements. Each year, time must be set aside to review achievements for the past 12 months, undertake annual maintenance tasks, set your goals for the next 12 months and develop a plan to achieve these goals.
Guideline 23 - Sign on for herd testing. Good management requires good information. Without individual cow SCC data to reveal subclinical mastitis, mastitis is an invisible disease. Remember ... you can't manage what you can't measure.
Guideline 24 - Service teat spray units and review teat disinfectant. The ability of teat spraying to prevent mastitis depends on teat coverage achieved at each milking and correct measuring and mixing of the teat spray solution.
Test Milking Machine
Guideline 25 - Test, service and upgrade milking machines. Virtually all infections enter the udder through the teat openings. Your milking machine spends 50 - 100 hours attached to each teat in a lactation. Machine malfunctions cause teat damage and increase the risk of infection.
Fix Dirty Areas
Guideline 26 - Fix areas that make udders dirty. 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.