One of the most often neglected areas on a dairy farm is the milking parlour. Even though it is used two or three times a day, it is often assumed to be working properly and operated correctly. But it’s dangerous to think that as long as the motors run and milk flows through the pipeline, everything is OK. This may or may not be true. The two major problems with milking systems are malfunctioning equipment and operator misuse. The problems can occur separately or simultaneously. In either case, the dairy farmer increases his chances of lowering milk production and, ultimately, lowering income. Research shows a high correlation between the incidence of mastitis and poorly functioning or poorly operated milking equipment. Mastitis is not a new disease. It was recognized and studied even before the milking machine was invented. Because the dairy industry became more dependent upon efficient milking operations, the milking machine is now used on nearly every dairy farm in the united kingdom. In many cases, when a dairy herd’s incidence of mastitis increases, the first area to be targeted is the milking equipment. The milking system can be adjusted or adapted to function properly, but other factors can contribute to this problem.
• Higher average claw vacuum results in quicker milking but milking that may be less gentle or complete.
• Lower average claw vacuum results in milking that is more gentle and complete but not as quick.
A recent visit highlighted a issue with and excessively high vacuum level.
The plant normally ran at 47 kpa “working level “
After a high incidence of mastitis in the herd the farmer required a milking machine test, on arrival the vacuum was stable with very little fluctuation; however the average claw vacuum was at 51 kpa
Nobody is saying you cannot milk at this level, it is important to remember the High vacuum levels and improper use of the milking machine have been associated with teat orifice erosion and hyperkeratosis. The development of teat end lesions can create an environment for the concentration of and colonization of, damaged tissue by a variety of mastitis pathogens. Increased new infections from Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus dysagalactia are commonly associated with an increase in or high level of teat-end lesions is having on your teat end,