following clean milking practices, wash udders before milking, pre-dip, post dip, not over-uddering, routine milking schedules, and cleaning milking equipment. Cleanliness is the SURE way to prevent mastitis!
Adding to Kens post.
High quality minerals.
Never letting does udder up to leaking, if your does are leaking they are at risk.
A good immune system and a healthy rumen.
Not letting doelings nurse dams with subclinical staph.
Even seasoned goat breeders with very clean technique have does get mastitis. (Heck, even Kaye had a doe get mastitis. You would think she could just give them "the look". :rofl ) There are definitely other factors involved here.
I guess this thread could more correctly termed "How to minimize mastitis occurrence".
Think about it....this is your first case. That has got to be saying something about how many things you all are doing right!
:biggrin Yeah, even I get mastitis...but I attributed it to my fluctuation in the old vacuum pump I had and milking with too slow a pulsation. Fixed all that and am OC about cleanliness with the milkers.
Too funny, Camille.
Interesting that the information that you all gave left out the MOST important part. Kaye, knows that I am a FREAK when it comes to milking and getting quality milk. But, left out some important facts.
Yes, you do need to either wash the udder or use a pre-dip. You can use whatever solution that you want. I just a fan of iodine. The label says to mix the water to 25ppm of iodine. That is 1 oz of 1% iodine to 5 gallons of water. But, there has been studies to where that is not enough iodine for a kill rate. It is recommonded that you mix atleast to the level of 100ppm of iodine to water(1oz to a gallon of water). I know somepeople use a bleach water solution, that is fine as long as you prepare a fresh solution at every milking and dont let it set for over 30 minutes. The big problem that I have seen with beach water prep is brunt teat ends. That one was not careful when mixing the water.
Also, with the perfered method, you need to work the sanitizer onto the teats. That does not just mean dip the teat then come back 60 seconds later and wipe off. There is BIG debates over this, should you dip....strip...wipe.... OR....strip....dip...wipe. There has not been enough studies to show that either way is the best. But, the fact is to get the sanitzier worked onto the teat....MAINLY the teat end. That little muscle is the guard with any masitisis prevention.
Look at the teat ends...should do at every milking...but we all know how that goes. You can feel them with you thumb and get idea of the condition that they are in. SCRUB the teat end also with the solution. That is where the majority of the dirt ends on up on the teat. I sat in on a class once that this little excerise was AMAZING to see really how bad people prep the teats.
Take a marker and place a dot on the end of a finger. Then use what ever method you would use to begin milking with....washing or pre-dipping. Then use the finger as a teat and prep it the same way you do your does teats. The majority of the class still had the dot on the end of the finger. That is the dirt that is shoved up into the udder at the beginning of milking. It was suprising just how you did not think of it being dirt. So, the best thing is to make sure that those teat ends are CLEAN. A healthy teat end should just be a little white cirlce at the orfice.
Also, after you have prepped you doe for milking....DONT waste time putting the milkers of her. The milkers should be attached in 60 to 90 seconds from the first time you touched the udder. Time yourself sometime and see how long it takes. I use to do that in the parlor and it was AMAZING to see that 90 seconds goes by FAST.
Then at the end of milking use a GOOD quailty teat dip. Again, I like my iodine teat dips. Should be atleast 1/2% iodine or if you dont want to use iodine then get a Cholohexidine dip. The best cholohexidine dip is one with a killing agent of Cholohexdine Acidate(sp) not Glunate(sp). They have found that bacteria can grow in the Glunate dips....mainly staph. That is one you DONT want to mess with. Dip it on....dont spray it on the teat. If you spray most of the time you only get one side of the teat and use more dip then if you dip. If you dip get a Non-return dipper, you can use the dip in the cup for more than one doe, just be SURE you wash it out after each milking. Never let teat dip sit out between milkings without a cover on it.
The last thing, make sure YOU are clean when you start milking. Most people think that is not that important but, it really is. Alot of people now are wearing gloves when milking(me being one of them). It just makes keeping things clean alot better. They say dont reuse gloves, but I will admitt I have before if they are just not nasty, but most of the time after milking 250 i just throw them in the trash.
No one has mentioned minerals so far. Low copper (or some other mineral) levels depresses immune system which plays a big role in fighting infections--including mastitis. A herd with low copper levels will have more cases of mastitis.
I suspect if mineral levels are optimal, you might never see a case of mastitis (or a lot of other things, too.) Getting minerals optimal is the biggie, of course.
Thank you so much for your very informative post Ken. You just described (in wonderful detail BTW) exactly how my milking routine works. If you don't mind I'd like to put this info in Goat Keeping 101.
And remember, for those who go to shows, please follow your same routine when milking away from home! I get a lot of heat and get teased endlessly for the whole, pre-dip, milking gloves routine at a show. But with all the new and numerous germs and bacteria that the girls are exposed to at a show it is THE place to follow your strict at-home milking routine. Please, do not use the Fight Bac spray for convenience... it is worthless!
Thanks Ken. This is WHY I go to this guy for detailed information on problems that arise. I like information from a person "that's been there,done that" not some pencil pusher that's never seen the working side of a cow or goat, little own stepped in cow S***, as much as Ken.
:lol I hope ya' took your long johns with ya' to the dairy!!! Been thinking of you with all the cold you guys are getting.
Kaye, I noticed you mentioned the Fight Bac spray. I was under the impression that the spray encourages the teat orifice to close pretty quickly, as well as having some antibacterial qualities. I used to use it AFTER post milking dips, for that reason. Is it a waste of time or money to do that, or is it a good step to include, just because it seals up the end of the teat? It was on my purchase list for when I get ready to milk later this spring, but I'll happily cross it off if its just a waste of money. TYVM
The issue with FightBac has raised some eye brows in the dairy cattle world just here lately. If you look at the research that the company has put out...look at the herd that was used. It was the Univ of Conn herd. Hence...where did the vet that invented this worked....Univ of Conn. It was researched on 20 cows...10 control and 10 experiment. Well the Univ milks right around 200, and it stated that cows was SELECTED!!!! Well I have managed farms that milked around the 200 mark and I can tell you I could selected 10 cows with VERY VERY low SCC. Then have a control group of VERY high SCC. Its funny to me that many people over looked the research in the amount of number. In theory it is a GREAT product, but in the real world....use canned air. Also if you read what the killing agent in the spray is....I can not remember off the top of my head...it is not even on the National Mastisis Broad killing agent list. So makes me really wonder what the benifit of it is....but you look like you have money.
Sara, as far as you gloving up at shows....I would love to see more people doing that. You are not only showing off your animals but you are showing the general public that you take pride in the product that you are producing. A couple of years ago at World Dairy Expo, Jody from IA was teased about wearing gloves while milking. We stopped a person walking and asked if they would drink milk from Her show string or the people across from her(that did not wash or pre-dip). The person just looked at how they was being milked and said Jody's hands down. You are setting a standard that people show try to live up to.
Yes, Kaye...I have packed my long johns and all the carhartts that I could get in my truck!
Well, geez. I've been troubled by the tone of this thread.
There is more than one approach to maintaining udder health and producing high quality milk. If you can't keep your hands clean and can't milk without getting it all over your hands, gloves probably help unless you can't keep those clean either.
So here it is from a small dairy person who is "real" in the sense that I make part of our family's living making cheese.
I milk bare-handed, I use Fight Bac, I don't dairy clip. According to my dairy inspector, I produce some of the cleanest milk in the state. The herd has and has had no mastitis.
I wipe each udder with a hot damp wash cloth soaked in a mild mixture of Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap and rosemary oil. After the udder is wiped, I wipe down / dust the doe's back, flanks, and stomach to remove any dust, alfalfa leaves, loose hair. Teats are wiped with a Milk Check wipe that contains chlorhexidine gluconate and glycerin. My hands are also wiped with an udder wipe. In winter time, I apply a small dab of herbal salve in the crotch between my thumb and index finger and rub my finger tips along there: that eliminates cracked fingertips in the wintertime. I like chlorhexidine because it has a strong antibacterial residual. We finish up with FightBac (and no, it's not because I have money as Ken wrote of someone else): I place my hand behind the teat and spray away. Oh, I also milk in a set of clothes that's only used for milking.
When I milk, I don't touch the teat orifice, and I don't get milk on my hands. The milk goes from the streak canal into a bucket that has only been sanitized with boiling water and then filtered into a tote, all equipment similarly sanitized. Milking equipment is stored down in my cheesehouse, a building a ways from the barn. That's it for me, simple and effective.
I also don't use Fight bac and of all places I would never use it at a show (the one place of all you should be using cement, not fluff). The amount of chlorhexiderm once sprayed is not the percentage on the can, and I know it is Texas A&M I believe Prarie View who gave our club this info, or perhaps it was Scott Horner (runs Prarie Views herd) who shared this with us.
I don't use iodine based products, or acid washes or or or because of my asthma. I also have milked for 21 years with other than one purchased case of mastitis and one in which I brougt on myself with milkfever and she is clear now 5 years later, we don't have mastitis and even were clear last year on all milkers for staph (LSU tested).
But it is routine, it is doing the same thing the same way daily and teat dipping or spraying to saturation, and doing something so that the girls do not lay down with open orifice right after milking. If your routine is expensive can you really keep it up each month the whole lactation? If your routine is to many steps are the kids really doing all of it when you aren't watching? The answer to that is no by the way even if your children are angles...wait until they grow up and admit to you some of the stuff they have done!!! And my two girls were excellent kids who showed and were very very responsible!
I machine milk and I think it is cleaner than hand milking, especialy when selling milk...if and it's a huge if the way some machine milk, you clean inflations between does and clean inflations after milking.
With my success with the old Chlorox dilution rate from Hoards back in the late 80's when I started milking, I simply don't want to change now. It's cheap and works for me. I did try for about a month the 30$ a gallon jug of molassas per dip and post dip, thick molassas messy and stained my brand new concrete!
But then I am tiny potatoes, and if I milked for a living like Ken or even the amounts of does Sara does yep I would have to change my old ways. Vicki