Udder care

Udder health is of major importance to milk production, cow welfare and farmer working pleasure. Basically, every case of mastitis occurs due to bacteria that enter the udder via the teat sphincter and teat canal. The teat canal and the teat sphincter are the first and most important line of defence. On a teat where the skin is strong, smooth and flexible, bacteria have the least chance of finding a home. In this article you will find some practical tips for keeping cows’ teats in perfect shape.

Management, Cow health, Milking


It all starts with having the right milk settings and liners during milking, as milking puts quite a lot of mechanical force on the teat. Remember, on average 60 pulses per minute for 5 minutes for 2.5 milkings per day equals 750 squeezes per day! 

The skin is a natural barrier that protects the body against external intruders. For this purpose, the surface of the skin has a protective acid mantle with a pH of about 5.5. It takes a certain amount of effort to get or to keep the skin in good shape. Therefore, good udder-care products also have to be rich in care ingredients for recovery of the skin. 

Teat dip_fig1.jpg

So, teat spraying after milking has two functions: disinfection and care. Product ranges vary from strongly disinfectant to very gentle and caring. The active ingredient reduces microorganisms on the teat (for example iodine, lactic acid). Products are selected on the grounds of applicability, effectiveness, skin tolerance, market demands (product availability varies per region) and having been specially designed for use with a Lely Astronaut milking robot.

Based on the farm’s situation (environmental bacterial or cow-related bacterial mastitis) and the visual teat-end quality score for at least twenty cows per robot, while taking different lactation stages into account, you can choose the product that fits your needs.

Once you have chosen the teat dip that best fits your situation, of course you want to make sure it is applied properly to the udder. Therefore, make sure that spray settings, such as pressure and duration, fit with the teat dip (for help check with your local Lely advisor). In addition, the pattern of the spray can be checked to see if it creates a nice conical spray shape. Furthermore, it is possible to scan for the teat coordinates automatically before you spray (Astronaut A5), for example if the udder shape is changing greatly or when the cow is moving. Another tip is to set a spray to follow a failed milking.


Please do not forget: for the first 2 - 15 minutes after milking, the teat sphincter is open. Therefore, make sure that after a milking the cow enters a relatively clean and udder-friendly environment. This means that the floor is scraped and the cubicles are clean and dry with a good quality of lime or other bedding materials.

In conclusion, the first line of defence - the teat canal and the teat sphincter - is very important in udder care. Therefore, it is important to keep it in very good condition by using the right udder-care products and achieving the right milk settings. Ask your local advisor about what is possible and available in your area*. 

Teat dip_fig2.jpg
Products are tested in accordance with EN 1656, EN 1657 and EB 14675 standards. *Please note that available products may differ per country.


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T4C 3.11 update

T4C & InHerd

T4C 3.11 update

As of June 2019, the roll out of T4C update 3.11 will start. This update contains new KPI’s of cow performance and rumination of lactating cows, new options in the routing settings, new Vector settings, new remark fields, an attention ‘suspect for abortion’ and new features for the grazing reporting. Since the roll out will start soon, it is good to know what the update entails. KPI for energy-corrected milk or milk solids To get a better insight into your cows’ performance, there is now a KPI available that shows milk yields, but with a correction for fat and protein content. There is a choice between three formulas, which are FPCM (fat- and protein-corrected milk), ECM (energy-corrected milk) or milk solids (sum of kg dry matter of fat and protein). These calculations are available as a KPI on the dashboard, but also on an individual-cow basis in the report generator. However, they are not enabled by default. On the ‘Global farm set-up’ page, you can choose which formula you would like to use. Routing: pause a scheduled routing On the ‘Daily entry’ page, a new action has been added called ‘Scheduled routing’. On this page, you see all the cows that currently have an active routing task based on a scheduled routing task. This gives you more insight into which cows are routed or ‘to be routed’ and why they are routed. In addition, you can pause these tasks. This could be useful, for example, when you want to skip hoof trimming for a day due to harvesting. Routing: only route after milking When treating a cow, it is often desirable to have a cow in the separation area with an empty udder. With Lely T4C 3.11 it is now possible to enable a setting that makes sure that routing tasks are only active when a cow is allowed to be milked. This could also prevent cows with full udders being in the separation area for longer periods. This functionality is also available for scheduled routing tasks. Lely Vector: enter ration in dry matter Lely Vector rations can also be entered in kg dry matter. This would be very useful when customers receive their ration in dry matter per cow from their feed advisors. Reproduction remarks In this update, the usage of the reproduction remarks is improved. There are now also remark fields available for the pregnancy check and calving actions. Rumination KPI for lactating cows only Usually the rumination activity KPI is used to analyse the rumination of the part of the herd that is currently in lactation. However, since this KPI also includes dry cows and young stock, there is now also a KPI that shows only the average for the cows that are in lactation.   ‘Suspected miscarriage’ attention If a pregnant animal has shown serious heat signs since the last positive pregnancy test, she is shown on report 34 – Reproduction check with the remark ‘Suspected miscarriage’. Grazing report This new report shows the grazing per cow. The time is calculated from the moment she is routed to a grazing destination until she is recognised again by another device. Related to this same data, there is now also a grazing report for all the lactating cows.