DairyCo Focuses on Pasture Hygiene

UK - DairyCo is advising producers to make good pasture hygiene a high priority to minimise increases in cell counts typical over the summer months.
calendar icon 8 July 2009
clock icon 1 minute read

“After cows have moved off the pasture, they should not return to the same field for at least four weeks,” says Hugh Black, Dairyco extension officer. “And high risk areas –such as damp or wooded areas - should be avoided altogether if possible.”

Similar advice is extended to loafing areas, tracks and gateways, all of which can experience a build up of mastitis-causing organisms if conditions are unfavourable.“Gateways and tracks should be actively managed with materials like bark, hardcore and shavings to minimize the risk of poaching and soiling of feet, legs, teats and udders,” he advises. “And the use of routes and gateways should be rotated wherever possible should poaching occur.

“Loafing and rest areas should be treated similarly, in that they should not be used for more than two consecutive weeks or returned to in less than four.”

Further measures to improve pasture hygiene include generally good drainage to avoid surface flooding and not over-stocking.“Naturally, the usual practices of vigilantly controlling flies and isolating infected animals always apply, and don’t forget that stressed cows are more prone to infection so avoid using dogs and sticks when herding cattle.

With many cows dry during these summer months and many environmental mastitis and cell count problems originating in the dry period, the advice is just as relevant for these animals as for those in milk.”

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