Soon, your heifers will be lining up to be teat sealed. This will give them the best start entering the milking herd by helping prevent spring mastitis. (Studies show it reduces clinical mastitis by 50% in early lactation and reduces subclinical mastitis by 65% at calving).
A little planning can help make sure teat sealing day goes smoothly for you and your heifers giving you the best return on investment.
1. Ensure your heifers are familiar with the cow shed.
The more often you can walk them through the cow shed, the better – it’s going to help you at calving time and it’s going to be safer for the technicians administering the teat sealant. Well trained heifers have been given plenty of opportunity to get used to the shed and over several visits have walked into the shed, stopped and rowed up in a herringbone; or loaded onto platform in a rotary, at least three times prior to the teat sealing visit.
Why? The job will go more smoothly (and faster!) and your heifers will be less stressed. Untrained heifers increase the risk of injury to themselves and our staff. Want some tips? Listen to this podcast on how to train your heifers through the shed.
2. Have a couple of calm and relaxed farm staff on hand to give the techs a hand
It’s helpful to have a couple of farm staff on hand to row up animals and help keep the shed clean – hygiene is very important when administering teat sealant.
3. Make use of Anexa’s teatsealant trailer
When you make your tech booking, you may choose to book the teatsealant trailer instead of the cow shed, particularly if you have a rotary shed. This purpose trailer can help get the job done safer and quicker. You also have the option of teatsealing your heifers at the run-off or on the home farm. Note: Heifers still need to be trained through the races.
4. Walk your heifers back to their paddocks slowly
If possible, get someone to walk or bike in front of each mob to slow them down when they head back to the paddock.
5. Check for swollen udders regularly for 48 hours after teat sealing
Every heifer will be checked before teat sealant is administered. Occasionally a heifer will be found to have a swollen quarter (mastitis) at the time of teat sealing. If this happens, she should not be teat sealed and instead must be treated for mastitis.If you notice a heifer has a swollen udder bring her into the shed, check her over and give your vet a call for advice.
Heifers should be checked daily for a few days after teat sealing. The technicians will leave you with an information sheet ‘Teat Sealant Aftercare for Heifers’. Give your vet a call if you have any concerns.