Improving your Cow Performance with the Herdwatch Milk module


| General

| Jul 15, 2022

Hazel Mullins in milking parlour

Milk Recording & Cow Performance

Milk Recording is the key to achieving successful safer Selective Dry Cow Therapy. It is essential to record one month before dry off or 60 days before the start of calving to assess the SCC of the herd, which allows you to monitor cure rates over the dry period.

Working with your Vet or advisor, you should be aiming for > 85% cure rate and Dry period new infection rates of < 10%. Milk recording should be carried out least 4 times a year – the more you do, the more information you have and in turn the safer the SDCT is for your cows.

Along with SCC management, improving udder health and reducing the usage of antibiotics, milk recording provides excellent detail on cow performance that can be easily accessed and interpreted within Herwdatch. 

Interpretation of milk recording data and the information that it provides will have a critical role to play in the development of breeding plans on farm in the future. The number of herds milk recording in Ireland is low relative to our international counterparts and needs to increase significantly. Its importance will become even more critical as blanket dry cow therapy is phased out.

Using the milk recording and performance dashboards in Herdwatch you will be able to easily select best cows for dairy replacements improving EBI overall on the farm, selecting culls and making sure problem cows are not being bred and in turn reducing SCC. Selective breeding will increase your EBI, solids, milk reduction, fertility as well as having a SDCT process. Combining and analysing milk recording information in Herdwatch can easily be done and help to make better on-farm decisions.


Hazell Mullins Top Tips for SDCT

  • Eat breakfast – Don’t be hangry!
  • Be organised – lay out everything on a table or other side of herring bone
  • Spotless parlour before starting
  • Gloves – if possible new gloves for each SDCT cow
  • Teat score – make sure surface of the teat is smooth
  • Bucket of cotton pads in surgical spirts or else remove wipes from packets and place in surgical spirit
  • Do not place sealers in warm water to soften – Pseudomonas risk
  • Stand in clean yard for 30 mins
  • Remember – treat your cows like surgical patients – embrace your inner surgeon!

Dry Off/SDCT Management in Herdwatch

By using Herdwatch, you will be able to access all of the information needed to select cows to be dried off, within the Dry Off Management feature in Herdwatch which gives you a detailed dashboard which includes cows in herd, average herd SCC, cows suitable for SDCT, cows to dry, cows dried, milk record and more.

A simplified list of what cows Herdwatch suitable for SDCT (always check with your Vet) as below: 

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These lists are all customisable with the use of filters, so you can change highest SCC threshold to 50,000 and latest SCC threshold to 50,000 and expected calving date to 15 of February 2022 to just have a list of cows with this criteria.

Herdwatch is fully compliant with all quality assurance standards in Ireland & the UK and allows farmers to record all remedy usage, register calves, cattle movements, breeding records, map your farm and more on a simple to use app.

You too can join Hazell and over 17,000 other happy farmers saving time on farm paperwork and managing their farms more efficiently by downloading the Herdwatch app today.


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