Focus on teat condition to keep flies at bay

Focus on teat condition to keep flies at bay

Keeping teat skin in good condition can help limit the impact of fly nuisance on both cows and people as we head into summer.

Alison Cox, Global Application Specialist with dairy hygiene specialists, Deosan says it’s important to review the choice of teat disinfectant products for the summer months and focus on maximising teat health.

“In recent years we have seen the removal of post-milking teat disinfectants containing fly repellents, to a point now where there are no proven, Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) licensed products available to the market. Focussing on products that maintain the healthiest teat skin is important, thereby reducing the attraction of flies to the teat,” she says.

Flies can quickly become attracted to damaged skin, so an aggressive approach to pre- and post-milking hygiene is advisable. Alison suggests using a product that is proven to deliver optimum disinfectant, whilst still being skin friendly.

“Some manufacturers suggest the inclusion of mineral oils in their product contribute to fly control, but despite the attributes of oils, they should never be considered an effective fly repellent between milkings,” she explains.

“It is important to consider the product specifications, but relying on a teat disinfectant to prevent fly nuisance on the teat between milkings is a false policy. There is also a desire for many farms to keep the job simple during milking, so look for products that offer your cows the best protection, delivered in the easiest way.”


Total Teat Hygiene

Deosan Teatfoam Advance is a powerful dual-action biocide that is highly effective at removing bacterial challenge, whilst delivering balanced skin conditioning qualities needed to keep teats in good order - attributes that are particularly important during the summer months. Highly effective at removing bacterial challenge, it can be applied in a dip, spray or foam, and is designed for use pre- and post-milking. Used pre-milking, the advanced formulation rapidly removes soiling, allowing optimum disinfectant on the teat. Applied post-milking, the powerful biocides ensure great protection against costly and damaging bacterial threat.

“This product is a definite ‘all-rounder’,” says Alison. “It has been developed using the most advanced technology to ensure it offers the modern-day dairy farmer a product that is highly effective, versatile, and easy to use, whilst ensuring teat condition and hygiene is protected.”


Top tips for managing summer teat health challenges from flies

Alison says overall fly control should be a multi-faceted approach. “Small changes can be very effective on fly management, often incur no additional costs, and can make the working environment for both animals and people much more pleasant,” she says.

  1. Keep cows’ teats clean and healthy by ensuring an effective teat pre-milking routine is maintained throughout the summer months
  2. Choose a post-milking teat disinfectant that has added skin conditioning/skin soothing properties to encourage smooth, hydrated, healthy skin. This will avoid the development of dry, peeling or soil chapped skin that could potentially attract fly attention and further damage
  3. Reduce the areas around the farm where flies can populate and breed
  4. Use proven licensed fly control pour-on, ear tags and topical spray products, starting early in the season, and apply at regular intervals as recommended
  5. Discourage flies from coming into the parlour with the cows. For example, consider using entrance misting/air movement fans in the collecting yard and parlour
  6. Increase housekeeping in the parlour and dairy:
    - Keep parlour surfaces and equipment clean at all times
    - Remove any leftover feed from feeder troughs
    - Empty rubbish bins.

For more information, please speak to your local Mole Valley Farmers’ representative or visit your local store to see our range of teat dips.