Drying up some cows! Vacas secas! Vacation time ladies! #holsteins #dairyfarmer
An average lactation, the time a cow is producing milk in a year’s time is about 305 days. Dairy cows have a “vacation” every year that dairymen refer to as the dry period aka maternity leave. This vacation usually averages about 60-75 days. She is generally seven months pregnant when she is going on her dry period. So this means that her body has slowed in milk production as she progressed in her pregnancy. The last two months up till the cow has her baby is her vacation, and she won’t produce milk again until she has that baby. In the photo above I have tubes stuck in my hat that seal her teats during her vacation, protecting them during the dry period. The teat sealant is only put in to her teat canal, not up in to her udder. Before I seal her teats she is milked and each teat is thoroughly disinfected using an alcohol swab. It is also common for cows to be given a dry cow tube in each quarter of her udder as well. Each cows has four quarters each with one teat, completing her one udder. One dry cow tube is put in each quarter after the teat is cleaned with an alcohol swab. The dry cows tubes are given to ward off or treat any existing infection. Because she doesn’t milk during the dry period, her vacation, it is a great time to help her udder become healthier. The purpose of the dry period and each of the dry cow protocols are done to benefit her udder health, and her health so ultimately she can come back to the milking herd healthy, and ready to produce wholesome, quality, delicious milk for you and me!