It is important to manage these mobs in a way that will minimise their impact on the milking routine.
The mobs could include any combination of the following: main milking mob, dry cows, springers, colostrums/sick cows e.g. mastitis and lame cows.
Points to remember
- Ensure there is a clear system which all staff understand for multiple mobs.
- Multiple mob management can be included in your Farm Operations Manual.
- Consider using a white board system to keep staff informed.
- Keep any treated or sick cows well away from the milking herds.
- Always milk the special care or treated cows last to avoid spreading illness and milk quality downgrades.
- Follow MRS T (Mark, Record, Separate, Treat) when treating cows with antibiotics to avoid milk quality issues.
- Plan pasture rotations to try and minimise the distance travelled for milking by special care mobs.
- If cows have been dried off and treated with a Dry Cow Therapy, while there is still a milking mob, then the dry cows must be very clearly identifiable and held behind very secure fencing as they adjust to the new routine and lower feed rations.
- Remember cows are herd animals, if you must separate one, ideally give her a couple of companions to keep her company to reduce anxiety and potential risk of injury.
- If you have separate paddocks for colostrum and springer cows, do not spread effluent on them as it can result in metabolic issues. If effluent has been applied leave it for at least a week before grazing.