How a bolus produced better milk quality for a Kilkenny dairy farmer

An Irish milk producer says he has better dairy cows now that he found a reliable and highly effective udder health management strategy.

Richard Dermody produces milk from a herd of British Friesians in Co. Kilkenny.

In 2019, he had been struggling with high somatic cell counts (SCC) in 10 dairy cows – the readings of some of these cows peaked at 1.5 million cells/ml and that was impacting on the price he was receiving for his milk.

Action was needed because the high SCCs were impacting on his overall milk quality. In a bid to lower cell counts, he drafted in the help of his animal health adviser Ray Delaney of Mayo Healthcare.

Richard Dermody

‘A real gamechanger’

With Ray’s advice, Richard bolused the high cell count cows with Maycillin, a bolus developed by Mayo Healthcare and engineered to release allicin, an active substance in garlic; this product is used as an alternative to antibiotics in both clinical and sub clinical udder health challenges.

Cell counts have since plummeted in nine out of 10 of those cows, to between 90,000 and 120,000 cells/ml, Richard reports, and these cows have stayed down all this year’s lactation.

“We have seen massive cell count reductions since using Maycillin and, as a result of that, I have a much better dairy cow this year,’’ he says. “Maycillin has been a real gamechanger.’’

Even the tanker driver who collects Richard’s milk has noticed a difference, describing the milk now being produced by the herd as “top class’’.

Now that he has milk with low counts, Richard can command a price premium. In addition to excellent SCCs, his butterfat level averages 4.4% and the protein level 3.71%.

Richard used the bolus again this year, including on one fourth lactation cow who had clots in her milk after calving; she has since produced no clots.

Once the Maycillin bolus is given to a cow it is effective for 21 days and, crucially, there is no residue; therefore, no milk withdrawal period.

Maycillin dose rate for cows over 500kg is two boluses. Applicators that hold two boluses are available from stockists nationwide.

Mayo Healthcare’s area managers are on hand and contactable to provide technical back up.

Mayo Healthcare area manager Ray Delaney

Further information

Ray Delaney, Mayo Healthcare (pictured above), can be contacted by telephoning: 085-8621963.

For more information, go to: www.mayohealthcare.ie; or simply click here