Dairy cows need a lot of care, attention and comfort when having the important task of producing milk. When producing food products, all aspects of hygiene and cleanliness need to be taken into consideration. Dairy cows require a calm, stress-free, healthy environment which will allow your cows to produce the highest yield possible of milk. And like many of us, dairy cows require a holiday from their hard work of producing food for us humans. Many factors need to be considered for this period which is known as the “drying off” or “dry period”.

What is the Drying Off Period?

The drying-off period is an essential stage of the dairy cow’s milk production cycle. A suitable length of time must be made available between lactations to ensure the udder and mammary systems recover, a healthy calf is born and a subsequent productive lactation is achieved.

Cows in a milking parlour

Effective dry cow management should address several key areas namely: dry cow treatment, length of the dry period, body condition and nutrition of the dairy cow. The first week after drying off and the week before calving are two crucial times during the dry period when udder health is at risk. A keratin plug in the teat canal, the udder’s natural defence system, forms during the first crucial stage, and in the second stage, just before calving, this plug gradually vanishes to prepare for lactation. During the dry period, the keratin plug stops bacteria from accessing the teat canal.

The beginning and end of the dry season are the two times when the udder is most vulnerable to developing infections. Additionally, not all cows create a keratin plug in the teat canal for the duration of the dry period. A clean environment is essential for dairy cows during this period. Good hygiene and a healthy environment will prevent the growth of bacteria in bedding material and possible udder contamination.


Cow Comfort

Cow welfare and cow comfort is a highly important factor when dairy farming, and providing a safe and healthy environment for our cows is the main goal. Cow comfort is minimising the stress in the animals environment in order to maximise production and yields. An appropriately designed resting area is essential when providing for cow comfort, and a clean resting area is the key to achieving this. This is where the Dairypower Slurry Scrapers step in to ensure the milking parlour and platform are always clean, avoiding these potential contaminants.


Avoiding Infection and Disease

Mastitis in cows is almost always caused by bacteria that have gained access to the udder through the teat canal. During the dry period, these bacteria can only enter the udder from the environment, such as from soil, slurry, contaminated bedding or faeces. Bacteria such as E. coli or Strep. Uberis, which can survive in the cow’s environment, can cause severe cases of mastitis.

Dairypower’s slurry management solutions can assist with the prevention of these diseases and infections. Therefore, we provide two slurry management solutions for maintaining shed hygiene in dairy farms. These are our Pro-Clean Ratchet Scraper System and Eco-Clean Rope Scraper System. We also provide an additional solution for the aeration of the slurry, ensuring harmful gases are not produced from tractor agitation and slurry is stored in line with safety standards. This comes in the form of our Smart Slurry Aeration System.

Dirty cows have a negative impact on milk quality, including greater chances of mastitis infections and a high Somatic Cell Count (SCC). As most slurry management systems are automated now, Dairypower has created two unique offerings which will streamline your work time, reduce running costs and avoid potential infections.


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Pro-Clean Ratchet Scraper System

Dairypower has created a patented, unique Automatic Hydraulic Yard Scraper System, which has come to be known as the Pro-Clean Ratchet Scraper System. This scraper system slowly removes the livestock slurry created as they stand in holding areas and milking parlours.

This system was designed to operate in all kinds of extreme temperature conditions, making it the only system of this kind across the globe! This scraper system can operate in harsh and extreme environmental conditions such as the freezing temperatures reached in countries like Norway and Ukraine, and in very hot climates of countries like Taiwan and the USA.

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This scraper system has many unique features that make it the safest and most trouble-free system in the world. This robust, animal-friendly system can be easily installed with little to no pre-installation work. The heavy-duty scraper blade and quarto-folded rail are hot-dip galvanised with a low and smooth profile, designed to prevent all animal injuries. Another patented double spring-loaded tongue keeps the rail clean, preventing slurry build-up and allowing the scraper to operate in extreme weather conditions mentioned above.

The Pro-Clean Ratchet Scraper has become widely sought after for some other applications as well. It has been successfully installed in dairy, beef and pig units. It has also been installed in sewage treatment plants, abattoirs and other industrial projects.

Benefits of Pro-Clean Ratchet Scraper System

The benefits of our Pro-Clean Ratchet Scraper System include:

  • Fully Automated – set up cleaning times and frequency to your needs using the timer settings
  • Trouble-free operation in all climate conditions
  • Low-energy consumption
  • Optimum Cleaning
  • Easily installed with no pre-installation
  • Long-lasting – fully galvanised, a heavy-duty system with many in operation 25+ years after install
  • Works off a single or 3-phase motor
  • Wide range of customisable scraper blades


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Eco-Clean Rope Scraper

One of the most advanced systems we have created is the power scraper Eco-Clean Rope Scraper system. This is also a fully automated system which can be controlled from a single panel, allowing for up to four passageways to be cleaned at the same time. The system can be installed in passageways up two 200 metres.

We have also created a unique double winch that goes both ways and is a patented part of this spectacular product. This allows for the installation of just one winch unit in your building, saving space and costs. We use the same high-quality blades and the Eco-Clean Rope Scraper system that can be found on the Pro-Clean Ratchet Scraper system. These blades have been in use in our slurry management products for over 30 years.

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Benefits of Eco-Clean Rope Scraper

The benefits of this system include:

  • Fully Automated – set up cleaning times and frequency to your needs using the timer settings
  • Optimum cleaning
  • Low-energy consumption
  • Faster cleaning cycle
  • Quiet operation

Easy-Flo Backing Gate

While this product is not specifically designed to deal with slurry management and utilisation, it is a useful addition to your scraper systems. In order to keep the flow of your dairy cows highly efficient, our Easy-Flo Backing Gate works by slowly reducing space in your yard pushing all of the cows at the back slowly and gently through the direction of the milking platform.

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Find Out More

To find out more about our cutting-edge industry-leading slurry management solutions please visit our website at www.dairypower.com and book a demonstration via our website.