Munster Cattle Breeding Group

The Benefits of Doing an early Milk Recording


The Benefits of Doing an early Milk Recording.

To avail of the full benefits of Milk Recording, it is critical to get all cows recorded within 60 days of calving. This means getting one Recording done during March and the second within 60 days of the first. This will lead to detailed information on performance over the dry period (cure rate and new infection rate) and also the early identification of problem cows.

Cows worth treating

These are cows that were consistently less than 200,000 in the previous lactation and are now high. They have either picked up an infection during the dry period or in early lactation. These cows will be in the recently infected orange cow list of the Munster Bovine Milk Recording report.

  • CMT these cows to identify the offending quarter.
  • Take samples from these quarter for culture and sensitivity. This will identify the responsible bacteria and establish the most appropriate antibiotic to use.
  • Discuss with your Vet the best treatment protocol for these cows depending on the results.
  • Record the treatments and the response to treatment.

Cows not worth treating.

These cows will have had a high reading in the last test in the previous lactation and may have been high throughput the previous year. They have failed to cure over the dry period. If they have not cured after a decent dry period and a dry cow antibiotic tube, they are unlikely to respond to treatment now. These cows will be in the persistently infected red cow list.

  • Take immediate action to stop infection spreading from these cows – Milk last, dip/flush clusters after milking, spray your gloves, teat spraying/dipping.
  • CMT these cows to identify the quarter.
  • Consider drying the quarter or drying/culling the cow.

Chronic high SCC cows are less productive and have a huge risk of infecting other cows, especially young cows.

Sample Munster Bovine Milk Recording Report

Dry period performance

Getting the majority of your cows recorded within the first 60 days will give you accurate data on the performance over the dry period which can be seen at the bottom of the Cellcheck report.

  • New infection rate in cows – target is less than 10%. Cows can be infected during the dry off process or from the environment during the dry period, particularly in weeks post dry off and the weeks pre calving.
  • New infection rate in heifers – target is less than 15%. A high new infection rate in heifers is very disappointing given the cost and effort required to bring these animals into the herd. The big risk time here is the weeks precalving.
  • Cure rate – target is greater than 85%. Were you trying to cure animals that could not be cured and should have been culled? Did cows to be cured get a long enough dry period? Was the choice of treatment correct?


Changing legislation regarding the use of antibiotics is coming into effect in January 2022, which will seriously curtail the use of antibiotics for prevention, including dry cow therapy. The information generated from early Milk Recording is gold and will help you, your Vet and your advisor to manage your herd to lower SCC, reduce mastitis incidence, improve dry period performance and ultimately become less reliant on antibiotics.

How to Get Started:

To get started, call Munster Bovine today on 022 43228 and we will talk through your options.






Posted on  Tuesday, 16 March 2021


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