High stake bets in the milking parlor

One of our most curious cows has earned the name Snoop Dog!
One of our most curious cows has earned the name Snoop Dog! (Old photo, Snoop is no longer with us.)


Steve and I have a huge bet laying out on the line.

Whomever loses the bet has to take the other person out to supper at
George’s Fine Steaks; plus pay the other person $100 on top of that.

I hope I win. I could use that money!

I don’t have that much cash lying around in the bottom of my purse. If I
counted the money hiding in all the black crevasses of my
bag, I would probably have 25 cents.

Here’s the dealio.

Two weeks ago, we switched our pre- and post- dip solutions.

Previously, we were using an iodine solution for both procedures.

The pre-dip was, and still is, designed to kill all the germs on the teat.

The post-dip was and still is, designed to disinfect the milk residue left on the teat after milking.

The post-dip also has an amazing emollient which keeps the teats nice and soft and in great condition.

Years ago, we tested our bedding to see exactly what kind of germs are in thriving in the moist warm sawdust and
we determined the iodine solution is the perfect solution to ending the live of nasty bacteria.

So, our new dip is made from peroxide. It’s kind of cool. Once we
dip the teat, it dip foams, in much the same way it does when it was used on fresh wounds.

Does anyone else remember, as a child, screaming bloody murder when your Mother
would come into the bathroom carrying the dreaded brown bottle of hydrogen peroxide to clean up a scraped knee.

I recall screaming so much it was like I thought my lower leg was
going to drop off as soon and the fizzing started. I also remember, after
settling down and realizing my leg was still
in one piece, thinking, “Man, this is really cool to watch. Can you put
some more on my owie?” I also remember that
consequent boo-boos also had the exact same scenario play out!

So, back to the cows.

They don’t scream bloody murder when I dip their sensitive teats in iodine. They don’t even flinch.

Well, most of them don’t; some do.

The pre-dip foams, I scrub the teats and then I dry them with a very soft,
light-blue microfiber towel.

We then post-dip with a very sticky, liquid orange post-dip. This dip is called a
barrier dip because it sort of seals off theopening on the end of the teat.

It smells amazing and if it was any thinner, we may be tempted to drink it, because it looks like and smells like a Dreamsicle .

So, since we have been using the new peroxide, we have seen an uptick in the number of cows that have sub-clinical cases
of mastitis. We know this because the milk tester came Monday and we have all the individual somatic cell counts for each
individual cow.

We also know the percent of the total cell count to the bulk tank milk
that each individual cow contributes.

I consider a cow that is less than 2 percent of the tank is subclinical – in my opinion.

A cow that is 9 or 10 percent of the tank should be looked at, possible treated and
her milk should be separated. More than likely, she is a clinical case and
may need to meat the butcher in the sky. (Misspelling intended!)

Since switching the dips, the number of new cases has increased by 50 percent and so
has the cell count. From a nice, acceptable average count of 180,000 per full tank of milk, the count has also risen more than double to an average of 270,000.

Drives me crazy! I hate having a cell count of 200,000-plus. It frustrates me every single day when I walk into the milking parlor.

So Steve and I were “discussing” our cell count Friday morning.

He wants to continue using the peroxide dip and Dreamsicle-orange post
dip.I want to go back to my trusted and effective iodine dipping procedure.

We had to negotiate.

I hate negotiating.

Steve has one month to prove to me that the peroxide will be an effective dip.That means, he has to maintain the cell count
we currently have and see very few new clinical cases.

I will then have one month to prove that iodine is the better option. I
have to prove that when we switch to the iodine, the cell count will drop and we will see a decrease in the number of new cases and new infections.

Yes, we will have the scientific data to prove the case one way or the
other. That’s why the milk tester comes 11 or 12
times a year.

I am going to win. If, and when, I win…I mean, I will rub it in like crazy.

When I lose…I will say nothing.

But just in case, I better get into the house and start contributing to my
change containers, so i can meet my possible $200 losses.

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