While many farmers may consider the dry period as a time for winding down and a break (and rightly so!), it is also the time to get the next lactation off to a great start according Animal Health Ireland (AHI) latest advice.

It says what you do now when you dry off your herd can make or break 2015, in terms of udder health and mastitis control.

AHI says the dry period is an opportunity to cure persistently infected cows. However, it also says drying off and the dry period can also be a period of risk.

While the teat canal is still open in the early dry period, bacteria can gain access to the quarter from the environment. Bacteria can also be inadvertently introduced when giving dry cow therapy. Hygiene and technique at drying off is crucial to avoid this.

AHI stresses that mistakes made now cannot be fixed later, and will have a negative impact on the udder health of your cows next year. It advises that farmers be prepared, be really fussy about hygiene, don’t rush it and make sure their not hungry – so have your breakfast.

  1. Mark cows before treating
  2. Wear clean gloves
  3. Disinfect teat ends well, starting with those furthest away
  4. Starting with the teats nearest you, gently infuse dry cow antibiotic, and massage into the quarter
  5. With teat sealant, pinch the base of the teat, and Don’T massage!
  6. Teat spray thoroughly afterwards
  7. Keep good records!