Friday, October 11, 2019

Keeping Milk Feeding Equipment is Not
Really That Hard! Is It?

As part of a study about colostrum feeding a research group in Ireland collected information on cleaning feeding equipment from seasonally calving dairy herds.

Preferred METHOD of cleaning:
Method                         Near beginning of        Near end of
                                        12 wk calving           12 wk calving season
Hot Water Only              41%                             26%
Cold Water Only            35%                             40%
Cold water + detergent   11%                             11%
Hot water + detergent  13%                             24%

Note: Only acceptable method is hot water with detergent when cleaning milk feeding equipment. 

Did you get this? Only 13 percent of operations were using effective methods to clean milk/colostrum feeding equipment - at start of 12 week calving season.

Frequency of cleaning
                                      Near beginning of    Near end of
                                      12 wk calving          12 wk calving season
Daily                                21%                        11%
Every second day            47%                         53%
Once a week                    17%                         28%
Every second wk             13%                         4%
Once a month                   2%                          4%

Note: Only acceptable frequency is at least daily or more frequently as equipment is soiled.

I am not surprised that average mortality at 28 days was 6%. No data were presented on scours rates but we can guess that the rates were discouraging high.

Lots of opportunity here for improvement - anyone need a job advising Irish dairy farmers on sanitation practices?

Reference: Barry, J. and Others, "Associations between colostrum management, passive immunity, calf-related hygiene practices, and rates of mortality in preweaned dairy calves." Journal of Dairy Science 102:10266-10276 November 2019

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