Maiden heifers can be treated with Teatseal to help prevent mastitis, between 4 and 10 weeks before they are due to start calving. Ideally we would aim to do them about 6 weeks before their PSC, and so the training process needs to be started about 7 weeks before PSC.
It is important that the heifers are relaxed about being rowed up in the shed before we come to administer the Teatseal. To achieve this, they need to be put through the shed 4-5 times before they come in to be treated. Investing time and effort doing this will make the Teatseal operation much smoother and more successful.
1) If the breast rail is adjustable, make it as tight as practical.
2) Use the wall side of the herringbone only (they are less likely to jump through than on the open side).
3) Work with a maximum of about 15 animals at a time.
4) On the first and second days leave the exit gate open, and let them walk or run straight through the shed at their own pace, without stopping them.
5) On the next day, have the gates shut to stop them, and row them up with heads on the correct side.
6) On the next day row them up properly, and pack them in tight. Run your hands gently over their udders. Leave them like this for 5-10 minutes before letting them go.
7) On the day before treatment repeat step 6, and TURN YOUR HOT WATER CYLINDER ON.
8) On the day, allow about an hour for every 20 heifers to be treated.
9) If the heifers are well behaved and train easily, it may be possible to do this more quickly than as outlined above, but it is better to allow more time than to under-do it.
After the job is completed, heifers should be checked for mastitis in the paddock daily for six days, and on the seventh day brought through the shed for one final time, for a thorough inspection and feel of the udder.
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