Newborns have very naïve immune systems. Severe infections can be introduced and spread by bacterial contamination on esophageal feeders, buckets, nipples and bottles. Review the cleaning and sanitation procedures on your facility to be sure that all the utensils have been properly cleaned and maintained. Clean feeding utensils are critical to the maintenance of good health in newborns. If the equipment and feeding utensils are not clean enough to feed human babies then they should not be used on newborn animals either. The cleaning process need not be laborious or complicated. Follow the same procedures, as is regularly done on your milking equipment for the best results. It would be unthinkable for a mother to feed her child milk or formula in a feeding utensil that was not cleaned and sterilized. Newborn animals are babies and deserve the utmost in cleanliness of the feeding utensils too. Many severe outbreaks of scours can be traced back to the spread of infectious scour bacteria through contaminated mixing pails, feeding bottles or buckets, esophageal feeders and feeders. All feeding equipment is best cleaned using a procedure as follows:
- Rinse all buckets, bottles, nipples, milk replacer mixers and esophageal feeders with lukewarm water. (Hot water will coagulate milk protein and cause adherence to the equipment surface and provide a place for bacterial colonization).
- Follow the lukewarm rinse with a sanitizing soap at “hot” temperatures 50°C (120°F). Make sure the water remains hot throughout this rinse. (Too hot for bare hands but okay if wearing rubber gloves).
- Rinse with an acid rinse (same as milk line sanitation products) and allow drying.
- Dry the bottles, pails and esophageal feeders by putting on a rack or shelf. (Do not stack buckets or place bottle opening directly in contact with a flat surface).
When in the midst of a disease outbreak increase vigilance of all cleaning and disinfection processes to interrupt any possible spread of disease from contaminated feeding utensils or personnel.