Five Top Tips For Dairy Farm Cleaning
Dairy farmers across the US, Canada and South America use Ezi-action hand drum and ibc pumps for cleaning and hygiene in many parts of their farming operations. There are a number of key things to address when planning and implementing an effective cleaning plan on your dairy farming operation, and we give our top tips here:
- Milking parlors
- Milking machines
- Calf shelters
Modern milking parlors are high use parts of a dairy milking operation where the entire herd can pass through twice a day and many cows can be milked at once. Sometimes if staff are tired or rushed at the end of milking it can be easy to rush cleaning in order to get away. It is really important that every surface inside the parlor that has come into contact with animals, humans or any other external biological matter must be hosed down at the end of every milking. During this process care should also be taken to not splatter milking machines with manure during the process.
When milking machines are used by many cows in the herd during each milking session the risk of contamination and spreading mastitis and other infections is high, which makes this one of the most important cleaning protocols on the entire farming operation. Many typical cleaning agents utilise acid or an alkaline and all can be transferred safely using Ezi-action hand drum pumps. It is best practice to use a chlorinated alkaline cleaner; and peracetic acid mixed with hydrogen peroxide is also commonly used (but the dilution must be carefully measured so it does not damage milking teat rubbers). Make sure you constantly monitor teat cups and liners and hose off any manure immediately, especially in warm dry conditions. If it dries on it then requires a scrub with soap and water which requires extra time and effort.
One of the biggest worries for US dairy farmers when considering teat hygiene is Mastitis. It can be an issue right from milking, to once cows have finished (if they are to lie down), and also when drying off. During milking the risk of contamination is high because many animals are sharing the same milking equipment, and immediately after milking a cow's teat sphincter can stay open for two hours which makes it susceptible if the cow lies down in dirt or manure. It is best to spray on a combined detergent and disinfectant to all teats and then wipe them with a clean cloth or paper towel.
Calf rearing is a busy time in the life of a dairy farm where a number of family members are involved and mucking in. Whilst it's great to share the workload, this also means potentially more people (and even kids) get responsibilities for hygiene and cleaning. When calves are first born they have no immunity and are at a high risk of pneumonia and scours as well as many bacteria. It is critical to use a bedding additive that can kill bacteria like Staph aureus and E. coli, and can also stop outbreaks quickly. When calves are kept in close confinement, pathogens can build up in calf bedding including viruses (rotavirus and coronavirus), bacteria (E. coli and salmonella) or parasites (Cryptosporidium parvum). It is important to regularly clear out all bedding to wash and disinfect surfaces, and any disinfectant used must be a broad spectrum covering all three types of pathogens.
Lameness in dairy cows is a worry for all US dairy farmers and has been identified as one of the three biggest issues that can affect the health and wellbeing of a dairy herd. Most lameness is caused either on the farm race going to and from milking, and in the milking parlor. A two pronged approach of prevention and management works best: firstly by providing a farm race surface that compacts down and does not have hard stones that hurt cows as they walk to milking or that they carry onto the concrete surface of the parlor to cause more damage. Secondly it is good to apply a penetrating (but sensitive) disinfectant in footbaths to disinfect hooves and prevent further issues.
Talk to your cow vet and local farm supply retailer for the best combination of disinfectants and cleaning agents to use, and rest assured that your Ezi-action drum pump can handle any of them, and will continue to dispense them for many years to come.