New Milking parlours & parlour updates

For most dairy farmers the milking parlour is their place of business for at least half of each working day – typically four hours – so no wonder many want to improve throughput or reduce time allocated to milking.
Changing a parlour is not a step to be taken lightly.
Choosing any item of machinery can have implications for unit output and profitability,
It is suggested the main reasons for altering milking equipment is to reduce overheads, in particular labour costs, or to simply spend less time milking your cows.
But extending or changing the layout of parlours can require investment, as more often than not existing building and parlour layout may need to be altered.
Others may see updating equipment as a route to improved efficiency
Just like any machinery, parlour equipment requires regular maintenance.
The need for an annual parlour check as outlined in dairy farm assurance rules; don’t forget this is a minimum requirement and there are no penalties for exceeding it.
When sourcing new or used equipment direct from suppliers, it’s important to get it right first time.
Once installed, and before any cow is milked, get the parlour checked by an expert.
Defective or improperly installed equipment can have an immediate and long-term influence on both milking performance and – more importantly – cow health.
As well as possibly extending milking times, the augmented risk of teat damage from too high vacuum, faulty pulsation and ill-fitting teat cup liners can increase risks mastitis in a herd.
Ensure equipment to be used, whether new or second-hand, is installed by a suitably experienced and qualified engineer.
To qualify the above!
A recent visit to a customer whom had a second-hand parlour fitted, had issues with Bactoscan and fidgety cows.
The vacuum pump was installed at the far end of a loft, the oiler was empty and the pump was running dry, resulting in an underperforming pump.
The Vacuum regulator was also in the loft and the had not been checked for some months, to this end it was clogged with dust and was hunting excessively, the cheap vacuum gauge in the parlour was not recording this irregular fluctuation.
The access to the loft was a rickety old ladder, causing some concern for safety issues.
The moral of this is Out of Sight out of Mind!
When improving your Milking parlour consider
A Tank room
A Pump House
A Wash Room
Milking Parlour.
Access to equipment should always be safe, secure, clean and accessible.

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