Strategically Wash Teats
Not really a water saving tip as strategically washing teats is ‘best practice’ anyway. Wash only those cows’ teats that are visually dirty using a low pressure, directed stream of water.
A hose that delivers water at approximately 40 litres/minute at low pressure (less than 20 psi) is ideal for washing away manure. Using ¾’’ hoses instead of the traditional ½” hoses is better suited to this purpose. This will make washing teats easier, quicker and use less water.
Dry teats that are wet after washing with individual paper towels to minimise the spread of the bacteria that cause mastitis.
Tips on Getting the Best Result
A teat cup liner placed over the hose nozzle can reduce pressure and keep the spray confined to the teats rather than the udder.
Trigger nozzles specifically designed for teat washing give superior performance (use and reliability) compared to the cheap ‘garden-type’ varieties.
Reducing the number of dirty teats in the first place is good management. Use emollient in teat dip to improve teat skin condition, fix up boggy areas, move cows along tracks and in the yard carefully to avoid splashing udders.
Pros and Cons
Saves time and is almost universally practiced in Australian dairies. Putting cups onto dry teats reduces cup ‘crawl’ and so reduces milking time.
Issues in Making it Happen
Saves time in the work routine.
Avoiding teat contamination will reduce environmental mastitis.
Sediment and bacterial levels will increase if washing does not remove gross contamination.