Friday, May 18, 2018

Buy a New Brush?

Buy a new brush? This one is not worn out yet!

In a recent calf management note, "How to properly sanitize calf facilities." Drs. Ollivett and Sockett (Univ. Wisconsin) commented on bottle, nipple and bucket brushes. 

"Bottle, nipple and bucket brushes should be hung for proper drying." This sure sounds like good advice. Bacterial regrowth is minimal on dry surfaces. 

I had a hanger mounted on the wall next to my wash sink that made it easy to do this. And, these brushes were right at hand when I needed them. 

"brushes should be ... replaced monthly or quarterly, depending on the frequency of  use." (p73)

"Depending on frequency of use" - Well, I had 100 calves on milk, I washed 50-70 feeding pails a day, all the bottles and nipples used to feed the youngest calves and colostrum, tube feeders, milk replacer mixing barrels, etc. I felt that my brushes got a lot of use every day. 

Nevertheless, I cannot recall  having a schedule to replace brushes. I must have replaced my brushes when they began to show signs of wear - maybe 2 or 3 times a year? 

We had a tendency of other dairy farm workers to stop by the calf barn to help themselves to my brushes when they needed one. Because of this I recall replacing "missing" brushes more often than getting new ones because the older ones were worn out.

However, as calf consultant I have seen some pretty well worn out brushes that really, really needed to be replaced. 

The main point I gleaned from Drs. Ollivett's and Sockett's note was that brushes are important.

Do you recall the second step in my washing equipment protocol? Click HERE for the whole protocol.

Use hot water. Add liquid detergent and bleach or a dry chlorinated detergent. Brush all surfaces. Scrub off remaining milk residue.  Keep water above 120° (49C) at all times.

Note the "Brush all surfaces" - scrubbing with a brush is the only way to get equipment clean when manual washing. 

Refererence: T. Ollivett and Donald Sockett, " How to properly sanitize calf facilities." Progressive Dairyman, May 7, 2018, pp 73-74. 

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