Teat dip is an essential tool we use on every cow every time they come into the milking barn. So what is it (note- for what it is NOT, search my 3/8/13 twitter timeline for #teatdip)? Teat dip is bacteria-fighting substance applied to a cow before and after milking. There are several different brands and formulations, but most that I am aware of use low levels of iodine as the active ingredient. Using teat dip helps to prevent mammary infections, thereby promoting good udder health and high-quality milk.
|applying teat dip to a cow after she has been milked|
As you'll see in the video below, "pre-dip" is applied and wiped off before a cow is milked. The pre-dip kills bacteria on the outside of the cow's teat. If left unchecked, that bacteria could work its way up into the teat during the milking process and cause an infection. An infection could then lead to lower milk quality, a decrease in milk production, health issues for the cow, and the potential need to combat the infection with antibiotics (at which point the milk would be "dumped" for several days). When the cow is finished milking, we apply a "post-dip". The post-dip accomplishes two things: 1) it fights-off bacteria until the cow's teat-end orifices can seal themselves off, and 2) it contains skin conditioners that help keep the cow's teats soft and supple.
I hope you enjoy this edition of GDF Vocowbulary, and maybe you will learn a little something about teat dip!