The extent with which hygiene rules are followed varies from farmer to farmer. However, the key is to make certain actions a habit, which you then consistently stick to. When cleaning the teat buckets, always disassemble the complete teat. Once the calf has finished drinking its milk, hang the teat bucket upside down, to allow it to dry. ‘Always clean with really hot water,’ added Johan Verdaasdonk, young cattle specialist. ‘It works like a degreaser. If you do not clean the buckets hot enough, a sticky residue is left behind.’ Make sure you tackle the fly problem, early in the season, to avoid an infestation when the weather starts to become properly warm. Flies can transfer pathogens from one calf to another. It is also important that the dairy farmers themselves observe personal hygiene. For example, whenever you go to work with the calves, put on a fresh set of overalls and boots.