Several farmers today use just a dry routine for cleaning teats before milking. Though this can be sufficient in some cases, other farms and cows might need some extra attention to safeguard milk quality and udder health. Using a soap solution can improve cleaning results compared to a dry routine. This could be for example a pre-wetted udder paper or udder towels soaked in a soap solution.
Earlier research carried out by Galton et al. (1986), showed that standard plate count and coliform count in milk can be reduced by using a wet paper towel instead of a dry paper towel (figure 1).
Figure 1: Adapted from Galton et al. (1986), J dairy Sci 69:260-266.Trials carried out by DeLaval confirmed these results and showed a significant decrease in Total Bacteria Count when using a wet wipe (e.g. DeLaval Biocell) instead of dry paper. Bacteria counts were 90% lower when using a wet treatment (figure 2)! When looking into the bacteriology of the bulk tank samples in more detail, it could also be concluded that following the wet wipe udder preparation treatment resulted in significantly lower Staphylococcus and Enterococcus counts, both common mastitis causing pathogens.
So, all in all, research clearly shows the advantages of using a wet udder preparation instead of only dry paper. As mentioned before, situations differ from farm to farm, so the optimal udder preparation routine and product for one farm might differ from another. Have a look here to see how we can help!