FIL Tip

Colostrum marking

Having a clear and simple to use colostrum marking strategy that allows staff to identify colostrum cows at a glance is best practice for really effective herd management. The key is to ensure your whole team, including relief milkers, know and use the same marking system.

Colostrum cows must be withheld from the milking herd for eight milkings. Heifers should be withheld for 10 milkings – this is because colostrum milk may contain dry cow therapy residue.

We've created three straightforward ways to mark colostrum cows using FIL Tell Tail aerosols for twice-a-day milkings:

Option 1: Milk the smiley face

Day 1: using BLUE - mark a dot on the top left of the cow's udder
Day 2: using BLUE - mark a dot on the top right of the cow's udder
Day 3: using BLUE - mark a dot in the middle of the udder, under the previous day's dots
Day 4: using BLUE - draw a smile at the bottom of the 3 previous blue dots

Seeing a blue smiley face on the cow's udder indicates the cow can now join the main herd.

Option 2: The 4 dots principle

Day 1: using BLUE - mark a dot on the top left of the cow's udder
Day 2: using BLUE - mark a dot on the top right of the cow's udder
Day 3: using BLUE - mark a dot on the bottom left of the cow's udder
Day 4: using BLUE - mark a dot on the bottom right of the cow's udder

Seeing 4 blue dots on the cow's udder indicates the cow can now join the main herd.

Option 3: Colour bands

Day 1: using BLUE - mark a line across the cow's udder
Day 2: using YELLOW - mark a line over the blue across the cow's udder
Day 3: using PINK - mark a line over the yellow across the cow's udder
Day 4: using ORANGE - mark a line over the pink across the cow's udder
End of day 4: using GREEN - mark a line over the orange

Seeing a green line across the cow's udder indicates the cow can now join the main herd.

Need a hand implementing a colostrum marking plan? Freephone your local FIL Area Manager on 0508 434 569.