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Monthly Tip:  Properly Use Teat Sealants at Dry Off

  • Clean each teat end with a single-use alcohol pad or alcohol-soaked cotton ball. Use a separate pad or cotton ball for each teat.
  • Clean the teat located the furthest away first, working toward those closest to you. Clean each teat until the cleaning pad/ball remains white, using additional pads/cotton balls as needed.
  • Starting with the teat closest to you, insert the syringe tip of the teat sealant into the teat end while pinching off the top of the teat where it meets the udder. Slowly inject teat sealant, using a separate tube for each quarter.
  • Do not message the teat sealant into the quarter. You want it to remain in the teat canal.
  • Infuse teat sealant into the remaining teats, working from those closest to those furthest away.
  • When done, dip each teat with post-dip.
  • If cows are dried off at another time than following being milked, dip teats with pre-dip, wait 30 seconds, and then dry with an individual towel before starting the procedure outlined previously.

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Correctly Collect Silage and Other Forage Samples

Properly sampling all forages being fed and using these results to balance rations for not only the milking herd, but also dry cows and heifers ,is the cornerstone of all well-managed feeding systems. Remember that forage samples should be taken and analyzed throughout the feeding year, not just in the fall.

For Silage:

  • If a TMR mixer is used to feed cows, silage should be loaded into the mixer without other ingredients, mixed, and unloaded onto a solid surface. With the palm of your hand facing up, collect multiple samples (at least 10) from various locations of the pile in a clean 5-gallon bucket.
  • If a TMR is not used or silage is not unloaded from the silo into a pile, silage samples should be collected evenly spaced over the time silage is unloaded from the upright silo with at least 10 to 20 samples collected with your palm facing upwards.
  • Mix the forage in the bucket with your hand and dump it out on a clean piece of plastic. Spread the silage out into a circle, divide the circle into quarters, and place one quarter in a plastic quart–sized bag. If the sample is too large, repeat the quartering process after mixing the previously quartered sample by bringing one side of the plastic toward the opposite side.
  • Freeze the forage sample if it will not be shipped for a couple of days. Make sure the sample will not be in transit over the weekend to the forage lab. Samples should be kept cool before shipping, i.e. not placed on the dashboard or in hot truck cab.

For Hay or Baleage:

  • Using a forage/hay probe, collect samples from 15 to 20 bales of each lot of hay/baleage. The probe should be inserted 12 to 18 inches into the bale. A lot of hay is defined as that from a field of a similar type of forage and harvested at the same time.
  • Add the material to a bucket, mix and sample as outlined previously for silages.