When it comes to milk quality, teat health plays a major role, as dry, cracked teats are the ideal environment for mastitis causing bacteria to hide and grow. Many factors can affect teat health, but Minden City, Michigan dairy producer Keith Scharrer believes it all starts with your teat dip.
Powerful but Gentle
Two years ago Scharrer switched from using an iodine based pre-dip to EfferCept SG® on his 150-cow herd. “We just couldn’t get our cows’ teats as clean as we wanted them and were spending too much time on our pre-milking procedures,” recalled Scharrer. “Pre-dipping with EfferCept SG® has cut down on the scrubbing we were doing with the iodine dip. Now we just dip and the dirt and manure wipe right off.”
EfferCept SG® is powerful on bacteria, quickly killing 99.999 percent of E. coli, Staph. Aureus and other mastitis causing organisms, yet gentle on skin. “Since switching to EfferCept SG® we have seen a decrease in mastitis infections, as well as teat inflammation caused by irritated skin,” claimed Scharrer.
Sodium dichloroisoyanurate (NaDCC) is the active ingredient that makes EfferCept SG® so powerful. When added to water, the NaDCC composition quickly dissolves in a ready-to-use disinfectant. Unlike iodine based products, EfferCept SG® will not be repelled by negatively charged bacteria cell walls, allowing it to penetrate bacteria organisms, but not harm animal or human skin.
“During the winter months, our cows’ teat ends would get chapped and irritated. They were constantly itching,” recalled Scharrer. “Once we began using EfferCept SG® we eliminated that problem.” With a near neutral pH of 6.7, EfferCept SG is non-corrosive and non-irritating. The SoftGuard (SG) conditioner that is included in EfferCept SG helps to safely clean and condition to soothe and protect skin, teats and udders.
Efficient & Easy to Use
Iodine-based pre-dips are perceived to be inexpensive often making them an easy choice, but Scharrer learned differently. “EfferCept SG® is less expensive than the iodine dip we were using,” recalled Scharrer. “Although the real dollar difference was apparent with the decrease we saw in our SCC. After we made the switch to EfferCept SG® our SCC decreased from 300,000 to 130,000 and lower SCC means more money in milk quality premiums.”
EfferCept SG®’s unique tablet form makes it easy to store, and allows for precise measuring. “We just grab a tablet, dissolve it in our own water, and we’re good to go,” said Scharrer. Packaged in a 550 count pail or a 110 count jar, EfferCept SG® can be stored on a shelf, out of the way. No more mixing or hauling heavy barrels and totes.
EfferCept SG® remains stable for 7 -10 days once mixed with water. “I like knowing that we aren’t wasting our product or money when we have dip left after a milking,” admitted Scharrer. “We can just set it aside and use it during the next milking.”
The Bottom Line
Improving teat health can have a big impact on your herd’s SCC, mastitis incidences, and ultimately, your bottom line. “EfferCept SG® is economically efficient in comparison to alternative teat dips,” Scharrer says. “It also works better than most other disinfectants on the market - killing tough bacteria and improving teat health. Essentially you’re spending less and gaining much more.”
For more information about using EfferCept SG® as a pre and post-dip, or to receive a free sample talk to your NorthStar specialist.