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A Scottish dairy farmer says a simple switch in the post-dipping teat product used across their 215- milking cow herd has made a big difference to their pocket and teat condition.

Scott Kelly, Herd Manager at Yester Mains Dairy, East Lothian, Scotland, switched to EnviroCare Teat made by EnviroSystems, a specialist biological solution and bedding manufacturer, in November last year.

Traditionally, iodine had been the product of choice. However, with iodine costs continuing to escalate and peaking at £1,400 for an IBC, Mr Kelly decided to look for alternative products on the market.

EnviroCare Teat is a product Mr Kelly had seen used on other farms when he was a national AI Technician, and says he recalls customers always being happy and the cows in good condition.

“I first saw it being used in a robotic system where they were milking 400 cows, and they had no issues and loved the product. This gave us the confidence to try it.

“The product harnesses the broad-ranging antibacterial properties of naturally occurring lactic acid to reduce the presence of E. coli, Staph aureus and Strep uberis bacteria on teat ends. It also contains high levels of emollients, which prioritises teat health and condition.

Mr Kelly says that as well as hearing other farmers praising the product, it was also cheaper than iodine.

“When I priced up using EnviroCare Teat, it worked out we would save about £1,500 in teat dip a year, and it was one of the cheapest products on the market. It may not sound a lot, but every little helps when margins are so tight. The product’s cost and quality were the main drivers for us to change” he says.

However, the real benefits have come from the improved teat condition of the cows.

Mr Kelly adds “EnviroCare Teat is more soothing for the udder and conditioning. We found iodine could dry and crack the teat ends. If you get it on your hands, you only have to look at what it does; it stains them for at least a day and can burn. EnviroCare teat doesn’t do that, though, and feels very nourishing.”

“However, the biggest benefit has been in the fresh cows, as we find it helps soften their bags quicker, improving milk let down. Their bags return to normal size faster after calving since using the product,” he says.”The blue colour of EnviroCare teat also makes it more user-friendly as it stands out and shows the coverage, even on cows with black teats. That wasn’t always possible with iodine,” Mr Kelly adds.

Yester Mains uses EnviroCare Teat as a post-dipping solution, with dry wipes soaked in water and peracetic acid used for pre-wiping. They don’t have any back flush on the 10-unit double up parlour, which is why the acid is used.

Mastitis levels across this predominately Holstein Friesian herd, which also contains a handful of Jersey crosses, are well below the national average of 29 cases per 100 cows 1 at 18 cases. Mr Kelly says teat dipping is just part of the solution to low mastitis levels.”If you do the basics right, then it works. That means pre-wiping, not over-milking cows and spraying them properly. Looking after the teats with this product and conditioning them helps stop the teat ends from cracking, which is a potential risk factor for mastitis,” he says.

Yester Mains is also breeding for high health, selecting bulls with low somatic cell counts and mastitis and only breeding from the best cows. “It’s the invisible cows we want to breed from,” says Mr Kelly. “They are the ones you never have to see or treat and don’t have any issues.

“Milk from the dairy supplies the farm’s own pasteurisation plant and cheese room. Yester Farm Dairies produce an artisan range of soft cheeses, cottage cheese, yoghurts, creme fraiche, soured cream and fiore di latte mozzarella. Products are sold locally and nationwide through a range of supermarkets. This means herd health is paramount to keeping the supply and quality of the product consistent throughout the year.

About EnviroCare Teat

 A naturally derived broad spectrum antimicrobial teat dip and spray, which leaves the skin soft and nourished.
 Proven activity against E. coli, Staph aureus and Strep uberis and certified EN1656 veterinary bactericidal activity
 Can be used for both pre and post milking
 Bright blue marking readily identifies dipped teats
 Contains natural surfactants which help to dissolve and remove dirt, oils and milk remnants from the teat, ensuring a clean and hygienic teat end
 Even coverage
 Certified for use in organic systems
 To ensure the activity is maintained across a range of conditions experienced on dairy farms, the solution is buffered to a specific pH range where the lactic acid is most active.

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