Many farmers recognise the need to measure the amount of teat spray that reaches the teats, as well as regularly reviewing the amount of active ingredient and emollient in the final solution.
Although most teat sprays in the marketplace are effective in controlling mastitis, poor coverage or being applied at the wrong dilution will compromise the most effective product.
Contaminating teat sprays with the wrong chemicals can also lead to problems with precipitation in the lines or damage to cow’s teats.
Teat spraying is more effective when everyone on the farm team is involved in basic checks of the recipe and application.
Getting it right
Each farm has a different system for mixing teat spray. Good systems will have:
- instructions that are easy to read and accessible to everyone in the team
- teat spray chemicals that are kept well away from other farm dairy chemicals
- labelled containers that are used only for measuring and mixing teat spray.
Every system delivers a different amount of spray to the teats. Check your total usage per milking and see if it matches these guidelines.
- Manual teat spraying (i.e. wands or hand-held pump) should deliver 20ml per cow per milking.
- Automated teat spraying (i.e. in race or on platform) should deliver 30ml per cow per milking.
Adequate volume alone, however, does not ensure teats are being covered.
Check coverage, using the simple paper towel test (see below) or by checking teat condition. If front teats or front sides of teats are dry and cracked, coverage needs to be improved.
Look at the far sides of teats of at least some cows after spraying every day to ensure they are being covered.
Check spray pattern of spray units. Spray on the pit wall or hold a sheet of white paper 10cm from the spray and spray it like you would a teat. Hollow ring spray patterns miss the teat. If required, change or service nozzles.
This article was originally published in Inside Dairy July 2013