Drying-off options limited due to product shortage
As we draw ever closer to the end of the year, drying-off is certainly on the to do list. Unfortunately, it seems for routine tasks that preparation in our supplies is crucial. In recent years it's been challenging to get our hands on vaccines such as Bovivac S and Rotavec Corona at the right time; this year its teat sealers.
This is rather frustrating when a large percentage of an industry does routine jobs such as drying-off at similar times. After hearing rumbles of a shortage in supply we found ourselves dashing round trying to find Boviseal.
I believe new supplies are unavailable until November 20, which has put the market in a fluster as farmers grab what they can.
It's alright to wait a little longer for supplies for the bulk of the herd but I'm sure for those who have failed to procure it, this will impact farmers' options to only drying-off heifers and low condition score, or high SCC, cows.
This is rather unfair on the farmer - especially where this could adversely affect milk quality and risk penalties such as SCC and lactose (low yielding cows) as time ticks on.
Teat seal has become a widely-used technology, and ever more so as selective dry cow is promoted and considered. Increasingly, the practice of using teat sealer in in-calf heifers is also being considered.
When drying off it is important that you are prepared and follow a consistent routine. Disinfection of the teat is a vital step in the process.
If you are seriously considering the use of selective dry cow therapy using teat sealer alone, I can't stress enough the importance of hygiene.