Extra teat removal


Source: National Farm Animal Care Council Code of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals – Dairy Cattle, Section 4.7

Supernumerary (also referred to as extra, sprig or web) teats may be found as extensions of a primary teat, between the front and rear teats, and behind the rear teats. Supernumerary teats are a concern for two reasons:

  • they may be connected to the primary teat, posing a risk for leakage or entry for infection
  • they may interfere with machine milking.

Supernumerary teats found behind the rear teats are the most common and may produce and leak milk. Supernumerary teats between front and rear teats are less common and seldom pose a problem.


Teat removal must be performed by trained personnel.


  1. remove extra teats as soon as they can be identified
  2. pain control should be used when removing extra teats (e.g., at the same time as dehorning).
  3. use proper equipment and veterinary techniques.
  4. control bleeding.