Engormix/Dairy Cattle/Technical articles

Tips for a More Efficient Parlor

Published on: 1/9/2023
Author/s : Abbas Moazami Goudarzi / Ph.D. ruminant nutrition, Young Researches and Elite Club, Pardis Science and Technology Branch, Islamic Azad University, Pradis, Iran.
Dairy farmers are always looking for ways to boost efficiency in their operation. This especially holds true in the milking parlor. Installing new technology or hiring an extra hand is one way to increase efficiency, but it can also cost producers a pretty penny.
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Think about the environment of the parlor itself.
Is your parlor a place cows want to go? Is it clean? Is it calm and inviting? Things to consider in your parlor include cleanliness, noise levels and light.
1- A clean parlor will help manage environmental pathogens and help keep cows and milkers healthy.
2- A quiet, calm parlor will help stimulate milk letdown and reduce potential teat damage of milking machines pumping when little milk is coming out.
3- Loud music or milkers yelling may cause adrenaline release in the cows, which prohibits milk letdown.
4- Lighting in a parlor is often overlooked but shouldn’t be underestimated.
5- A well-lit parlor benefits the cows, as they like to clearly see where they are going and what’s going on.
6- It also benefits employees, as they can see the udder well and ensure its cleanliness.
7- Good lighting can also aid in the visual examination of milk when stripping the udder during prep.
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How are cows brought in? How are they prepped for milking? How long does it all take? The flow of your parlor matters, from the moment that pump turns on to the moment it turns off.
  • Cows should be brought in promptly while still allowing them to move at a comfortable pace.
  • Consider grouping cows by milking speed, or, at the very least, keep your slowest milkers until the end.
  • While prepping cows, are all of the milkers (if there are multiple) doing the same thing? Is the prep pattern always the same? Is it timely?
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A quick review of important milking preparation times:
  • The teat skin surface requires 10-20 seconds of stimulation for optimum milk letdown
  • Teat dip should be on the teats for 30 seconds to effectively kill bacteria on the teat surface
  • Prep-lag time or the time it takes from initial stimulation to attachment of the milking machine should be 60-120 seconds
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