According to recent studies, mastitis is a major profit “zapper.” How much does even one clinical outbreak cost? The latest figures show a $100 loss for each time a cow gets a mastitis case. This includes lost milk production and the costs of treatment, extra labor, and potential future milk loss. Multiply that amount times the number of cows you have and you can see that mastitis can rob you of a lot of time and hard-earned money. But there is a solution!
So, what does this have to do with dry cows? Namely this: if you don’t have a solid, effective mastitis prevention plan for them, you need to do it today as each day counts, and low SCC and good milk production successes don’t “just happen.”
HERE ARE SEVERAL “KEYS” THAT CAN BENEFIT YOUR DRY COW PROGRAM
1. Join the Udder Program. Get all lactating and dry cows on Dairy Vita Pak (DVP) every day to help build up immune systems, fight mastitis, and lower SCC. Dry cows on a good plan, like the Udder Program, can produce up to 2,000 more pounds of milk than those cows that are not.
2. Use a dry treatment. Our versatile tool, Uddersol, greatly helps. The choice is yours, but dry cow prevention programs work, greatly reducing problems and increasing quality and milk production.
3. Use a teat sealant. Many have told us they seal teats by dipping all teats with a medicine cup (available at Walgreens or Wal-Mart, etc.) with 5 cc clear cold PVC plumbers cement and re-dipping about 5 minutes later, when first dipping is dry. You can speed this up by using a blow dryer for 10-15 seconds. This sealant is waterproof, cheap, effective, and completely external – it never gets in the milk. However, we still believe the absolutely most dependable sealant is Orbaseal.
4. Feed DVP to dry cows. Dry cows should get Dairy Vita Pak during their entire dry time, at least ¼ oz/head/day. At 2 weeks before calving, it is a great idea to give them ½ – 1 oz. Dairy Vita Pak.
5. Look around your herd. Do a quick check on dry cows, heifers, and your milking herd daily (more often for heats, etc.). Look for anything unusual: limping, swelling on one part of udder, eye abnormalities, etc., and take care of it right away. The Bible says in Proverbs 27:23 to basically “look over your herds” frequently. “Take care of your cows and they will take care of you,” my late father used to say. Good advice! (AG)