Teat preparation – evidence of success

Since its launch into the UK market in late 2016, the CID LINES PureFoamer pre-milking teat preparation system has grown to become an important
part of maintaining milk quality and efficient milking on many farms. In fact, by the end of 2017 there were over 30,000 cows in the South West
alone benefitting from the superior cleaning, disinfection and milking times that the system is able to bring. So with the mission of producing
“Cleaner, Faster Milk” being realised, we thought it was time to look at the evidence and why it is a system to consider. But first, a reminder of
why PureFoamer is important.

What happens right now on farm?
“Strip, Dip, Wipe, Apply” is the proven mantra that still works. We strip to check for issues and stimulate milk let-down. We then dip to clean and disinfect teats. This is followed by a thorough wipe off to remove the dip residue along with muck and dirt and finally, we apply (attach) the clusters. Unfortunately, corners are cut and mistakes can be made in areas of this process.

“DIP”
This part is crucial as it represents the best chance of starting the dirt and muck removal process as well as disinfecting by removing pathogens. However, in many cases a product is used that does not contain the ingredients (surfactants or simply put, soaps) to remove debris, or the disinfectant included is not suitable to provide the rapid kill needed pre-milking. Additionally, products are often sprayed-on which is not optimal for total teat coverage due to the high chance of poor technique. So using this information, an iodinebased product that contains no surfactants and which is sprayed-on is sub-optimal due to the slow kill, lack of cleaning capability and chance of poor coverage.

“WIPE”
Linked to the potential issues above, wiping can be compromised by poor technique or unhygienic practice. Assuming a pre-dip has been used which does contain surfactants, a new paper towel for each cow should be used with careful attention paid to wiping the teat end clean. This area is often overlooked but is an important area to focus-on before attaching the clusters.

The purefoamer system
Put very simply, the PureFoamer system enables a fast acting, lactic acid-based product (Keno™pure) to be applied to teats as a very high density “dry” foam. The surfactants included in Keno™pure allows dirt, muck and debris to be removed extremely easily after 30 seconds with a paper towel, giving peace of mind that bacteria on the teats have been killed. Being an automatic system with a piped fed-line, foaming is straightforward, faster than applying a spray and with better coverage and less wastage.

Results and evidence from the field
Feedback from users of the PureFoamer system is positive. Typically, users report lowered bactoscans, reduced cases of mastitis, improved teat condition, faster milking times with less teat damage and significantly reduced costs of product. Such anecdotal evidence is compelling and serves as excellent testimonial evidence for new users who are considering using the system. However, a recent “Dairy Shield” whole farm dairy audit carried out by Trevor Rogerson of Pearce Dairy, included a deeper look at teat hygiene pre-milking and what the optimal protocol would look like for
this individual farm.

Dairy shield teat preparation results
The audited farm had used many different teat preparation processes in the past, all with different results. Whilst some such as a dilute hypochlorite spray seemed to have been initially effective, deteriorating teat condition had halted the procedure. It is also worth remembering that seasonal conditions and weather patterns can also affect results.

Using a device which measures the presence of ATP on a surface, indicating challenged cleaning processes and the resulting presence of contamination including bacteria, we looked at the effect of different teat preparation techniques on teat cleanliness. In the study, four different preparations were used, each of which had been used before on the farm. In addition, Kenopure was demonstrated and recorded as a new alternative to the existing options.

Whilst the study was very limited and did not include all teat preparation options currently available in the UK, the results that were recorded showed a considerable advantage to the PureFoamer system with a 99.6% drop in contamination after using Keno™pure. In addition, in all cases apart from when Keno™pure was applied, there was visible contamination to teats before attaching clusters and in the processes which included hypochlorite spray and alcohol-based wipes, teat skin condition was observed to be “dry” post-application.

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