Raising dairy cows can offer plenty of benefits. Just one cow can provide you and your whole family with fresh milk, cheese, yoghurt and other dairy products. And keeping several of them can easily turn into a profitable business considering how the cost of dairy products is constantly on the rise. But in order to get a great amount of quality milk, you need to ensure your dairy cows stay clean and healthy. If you’re new to taking care of dairy cows, here’s some helpful advice.
Obviously, the udder is the most important part of your cow. Unfortunately, it’s also very susceptible to disease. Udder infections known as mastitis are common in dairy cows which don’t receive proper care. To prevent infections it’s important to regularly clean the udder, especially before and after milking the cow, as this is when the teat sphincter is open and susceptible to bacteria. One way to clean the udder is using a soft rubber brush and some mild soap which you can find in most stores offering dairy cow supplies. You can also apply a post-milking disinfectant to kill off any bacteria present around the udder.
Prevent External Parasites
Parasites such as flies, mosquitoes, lice, ticks, and mites can cause significant stress on your cow. And a stressed out cow produces more adrenaline which can significantly disrupt milk production. Not to mention how many of these external parasites tend to carry infectious diseases. One way to prevent external parasites is to keep the cow’s bedding clean and dispose of its manure right away. Additionally, there are special pesticides and insecticides that are safe to use on dairy cows. You can find these products at any well-stocked dairy cow supplies store. They can come in the form of sprays or powders which you can use once a day as they are designed to be long-lasting.
Treating Internal Parasites
Dairy cows can also be affected by internal parasites as well, such as gastrointestinal roundworms, lungworms, and eyeworms. Monitor your cows closely for ailments caused by internal parasites as they are highly contagious. If you notice any signs immediately consult your veterinarian for treatment. A common treatment is ausmectin which is a broad spectrum antiparasitic solution that works by paralysing invertebrate nerves and muscle cells which results in the death of the parasite.
Vaccinations are the best way to prevent common diseases and internal parasites that affect dairy cows. However, they aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. A local veterinarian can assess the animal and can create a thorough vaccination program according to its needs. Make sure to properly inform your veterinarian about the cow’s condition as some vaccines can cause abortions.