YOUR GUIDE TO A GREAT DRY OFF
1. HAVE THE FOLLOWING READY BEFORE DRYING OFF:
- Experienced, trained staff
- Something to record numbers on – ready to be transferred to your animal health records
- Spray can for marking treated cows
- New teat wipes or cotton balls soaked in 70% alcohol (30% water)
- Teat spray and sprayer
- Plenty of time (allow 15 cows/person/hour when using an antibiotic and a sealant or 25 cows/person/hour for sealant or antibiotic alone)
2. BEFORE TREATMENT
- Milk cows to be dried off
- Strip all quarters and draft out any clinical cases for treatment with a lactating intramammary antibiotic
- Mark dry and blind quarters (do not treat these quarters)
- Finish milking, clean down the shed and then bring the cows back in for treatment
- Simplify the process and only treat cows with one product or combination each session
- Mark cows to be treated with spray can
- Record ID numbers of treated cows, treatment date and product details
3. CLEAN THE TEAT
- Starting with the front left teat, complete cleaning and insertion for one teat at a time
- Use teat wipes supplied, or cotton wool balls soaked in 70% alcohol (30% water) to thoroughly scrub the teat end clean
- Use one wipe per teat, or additional wipes as needed, using a new area of the teat wipe (or new cotton balls) until they come away clean and no dirt is visible. Allow to dry.
4. INSERT THE DRY COW THERAPY (DCT) ANTIBIOTIC
- Use the dual-tip syringe to partially insert the tube into the teat end (<3mm)
- Carefully insert the syringe tip into the teat end, taking care not to damage the teat
- Infuse the full contents of the syringe into the teat
- If using antibiotic dry cow therapy alone refer to the label to determine whether to massage the product up into the quarter
- If using antibiotic dry cow therapy in combination with ShutOut® always massage the antibiotic up into the quarter before inserting the sealant
5. INSERT SHUTOUT® INTERNAL TEAT SEALANT (ITS)
- If you have just inserted a dry cow therapy syringe, clean the teat end again
- Use the dual-tip syringe to partially insert (<3mm) the sealant tube into the teat end
- Hold off the top of the teat with your fingers while dispensing the sealant into the teat.
- Do not massage the sealant up into the quarter
6. REPEAT FOR REST OF TEATS
- Following on from the front left teat, repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 for the remaining teats moving clockwise if right-handed or anti-clockwise if left-handed
7. AFTER TREATMENT
- Spray teats thoroughly with an effective teat spray.
- Clearly mark each treated cow.
- Record cow number, date and the treatment given.
- Walk the cows quietly out onto clean pasture close to the shed.
- Check daily in the paddock for signs of mastitis and avoid bringing the herd into the shed for at least 7-10 days.
For a useful video demonstrating the above steps in more detail visit www.topfarmers.co.nz and watch our ‘Insert Dry Cow Therapy’ video.
DO’S AND DON’TS WHEN USING DRY COW THERAPY AND INTERNAL TEAT SEALANT
DO have enough time and experienced personnel to administer DCT and ITS properly.
DO treat cows immediately after last milking for the current lactation.
DO ensure milk volume at dry off is at least 5L per cow before administering DCT.
DO ensure that ALL cows have dry off dates and treatment recorded and they are marked clearly.
DO ensure DCT and ITS are administered in a strictly clean manner – follow your veterinarian’s instructions.
DO insert the DCT and/or ITS tubes no more than 3mm into the teat canal (dual tip syringes will help).
DO apply teat spray of correct concentration after DCT and ITS administration.
DO follow all label instructions and withholding periods.
DO ensure your milking plant is hot washed and the filter socks changed between milkings at the start of the next season.
DO ensure your volume at first pick up is as close to 1,000L as possible.
DO NOT dry off using the skip a day milking method.
DO NOT administer DCT or ITS during milking – bring cows back into the shed for the sole purpose of administering DCT and/or ITS only.
DO NOT soak individual syringes in water (ensure the syringes are kept clean and dry).
DO NOT use old or previously opened teat wipes.
DO NOT administer DCT or ITS into dry or blind quarters that are not normally milked.
DO NOT bring cows back into the milking shed for at least 7-10 days following the administration of DCT and/or ITS.
Top Farmers Know-How provides a reference library of industry best practice in some key animal health management areas including mastitis, dry off, calf health, BVD, salmonella and campylobacter. We know that farmers and vets are busy people, so we’ve created resources in different formats and in bite-sized chunks to make it more flexible and accessible.